Ready, Set, Sell-ebrate

ACFWAdvice, Book Signing 4 Comments

By Barbara M. Britton @BarbaraMBritton

Over the years, I have attended book events. Initially, I went as a reader, but since 2016 I have attended as an author. I love to meet readers, and sign and sell books. I also enjoy meeting authors who I know online but have never met in person.

Book events usually occur on a single day, but I spend several days, even weeks, preparing for them. What have I learned over the years?

Pray. I ask God to bless the event and to help me shine a bright light for Him. If I focus on God, then all the little upsets fade away like poor book sales, being tired, or lugging boxes back to the car.

Book events can be hit or miss. I have had amazing sales one year at an event and another year, I may sell single digits. What’s the difference? I have no idea. That is why your mindset going into an event is very important.

Swag. Bookmarks and swag are your friends, and they remind the reader that they met you. Let’s face it, readers only have so much money to buy physical books. A lot of readers will go home and buy cheaper eBooks. Many readers use the swag to check out your books on Amazon.

You will need to allow plenty of time for your bookmarks, lip balm, notepads, etc., to ship. If you have several books, you will need to organize the swag.

How do I organize all of my swag, signing pens, foil stickers, post-it notes, book stands, tablecloths, breath mints, candy, and everything I need for a signing? I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a rolling craft organizer. I keep the suitcase packed with everything I need for a signing. I can even pack a few books in the organizer.

Money. Book signings would be so much fun if you didn’t have to worry about selling your books. I accept cash, checks, and credit cards. At home, I have a cash box ready with small bills. Thirty percent of my sales are by credit card. I use Zettle, but there are other credit card readers available. I have to remember to charge my Zettle and my i-phone. I have a charging cord in my organizer. I don’t worry about a bounced check because spreading the message of Christ is worth missing out on ten dollars. I price my books at one price point to make handling the math easier.

I take care of managing the sales before I sign my books. At times, I was unsure if the reader had paid if I didn’t handle the money before signing the book. There’s pressure to get a name spelled correctly and there’s brain power required to figure out what you are going to write in the book.
Helpful Tips to Rock Your Book Signing @BarbaraMBritton #writing #booksigning #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet Table Decorations. I don’t have a professional banner, but I do love my folding book holder that has three vertical rows for stacking books. This gives me visibility, especially since most of my books are Biblical Fiction with lovely ladies staring at passersby. Most of the tables have white or black tablecloths. I bring patterned fabric or a bright color to jazz up the black or white cloth.

A name tent is usually provided, but I have several in my organizer from past events.

I put a bowl of lifesavers on my table to freshen my breath and to offer to readers. The candy is individually packaged. I also carry hand sanitizer and wet wipes to clean my hands before eating lunch or a snack. Wipes also keep my hands from getting sticky.

What are your tips for a successful book signing?

Do you have any questions about my tips?


Barbara M. Britton writes Christian Fiction from Bible Times to present day. Her Tribes of Israel series brings little-known Bible characters to light. Her novel “Christmas at Whispering Creek,” is a compelling, yet fun, story shining a light on breast cancer. Barbara has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.


Comments 4

    1. Hi Susan. Thanks for joining us.
      It’s more difficult to market eBooks at an event, but it can be done. There may be a possibility of having the publisher do a print run of your titles, but if not, you can certainly sell eBooks at an event. I find that readers like to meet authors and gather swag at events. The swag reminds them of you.
      You may be able to set up a display with your covers on stock paper and market a theme. If someone buys on the spot, a small thank you gift would make them feel special.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *