Hi, SEers! Mae here today. It’s been a while since I’ve done a book signing, but I’ve been thinking about ordering new swag and that got me thinking about my last signing. I’m not an expert—I’ve only done a handful—but I discovered something I thought might be helpful.
I used to create rack cards for my books, but at my first signing, I saw an author who used postcards. She put the cover on the front and blurb on the back. She had them all lined up on her table in neat little stacks. I thought the cards were a great idea but noticed very few people took any. Still, I liked the idea and switched to postcards.
For my next signing, I made goodie bags composed of postcards for my novels and a few pieces of chocolate. A private organization had invited me to speak, so it was easy ensure each member received a bag.
Fast forward several months. It was time for me to take part in a signing at my local library, along with thirty-plus other authors. I remembered the previous event was well attended, but most visitors had been reluctant to take author swag.
What to do?
I decided people don’t like to pick things up, but will rarely refuse something when it’s handed to them. Simple, right?
With that in mind, I found inexpensive bags on Amazon, stuffed them with postcard swag for all my books, added two business cards, a bookmark, and a pencil branded with my name and web address (photos below).
Whenever someone neared my table, I handed them a goodie bag. True, a lot of content may have ended up in the trash, but I found a way to get my books into their hands for consideration. Something that wouldn’t have happened if the swag stayed on the table. Several authors at the event told me what a great idea it was. I was pleased with the results and plan on doing it for every signing going forward.
If you do author signings, perhaps you’d like to give the same trick/tip a try. It’s a struggle to get our work to be seen, especially when competing with top authors on huge sites like Amazon. When you pare an event down to the local level, it shouldn’t be so difficult. I hope some of you find this helpful, and would love to hear your own ideas for author swag and book signings.
The comments are open—ready, set, go!