Gary’s Guide to Successful Book Signings

Gary Robson comes at the art and science of book signings from two distinct, yet complementary viewpoints: as a successful, innovative bookstore owner and as a popular author. If you’re an author, heed the advice in this fine guide. If you’re a bookseller, the same exhortation applies.

—Craig Lancaster, author of 600 Hours of Edward
Successful Book Signings cover.indd

At long last, your book is done. You’ve handed off the final manuscript to your editor, had your photo taken for the book jacket, and emptied your celebratory bottle of wine. Time to start on the next book? No. It’s time to start planning the marketing and promotion for this one!

Gary’s Guide to Successful Book Signings walks you through your launch party, book signings, talks, panel discussions, and conventions. It covers everything from the basics (how do you sign a book?) to the advanced (what should be in your exhibitor kit at a book show?) replete with tips, tricks, sample signatures, photos of actual signings, and anecdotes. The book is fully indexed to make everything easy to find.

I’ve been writing books for a long time now, starting with computer software manuals in the 1980s, and moving on to children’s books, technical books, historical fiction, and more. I did a lot of book signings.

Then I bought a bookstore in 2001 and got a very different perspective on book signings. As I brought in authors, I watched what they did. Sometimes I learned from them; sometimes I taught them. Most of the time I did both.

In this book, I’ve gathered together everything I have learned from all of these book signing events. There are also tips and stories from other authors across the genre spectrum including C.B. Bernard, Lynn Boughey, John Clayton, Margaret Coel, Sneed B. Collard III, Gary Ferguson, Kevin Gascoyne, Drew Goodman, James W. Hall, Janet Muirhead Hill, Ed Kemmick, Carrie La Seur, Craig Lancaster, Elisa Lorello, Keith McCafferty, Vonda McIntyre, Scott McMillion, Douglas Preston, Bruce Raisch, Susan Kushner Resnick, and Chrysti “the Wordsmith” Smith.

ISBN 9780965960984 (Trade Paperback)
2016 Proseyr Publishing
182 pages
(Also available in Kindle eBook and Apple iBook editions)

This is the only book I know of that gracefully, and with great good humor, instructs the new and even the established author how to approach book events, what to expect, and how to handle it. But it goes way beyond the step-by-step of the event, touching upon social media savvy that every author needs, especially those of us with winter in our beards, visual aids, right down to what pen to use to sign a book. 

—Keith McCafferty, author of Buffalo Jump Blues
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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Promotion & Planning
  • Signage & Props
  • The Launch Party
  • Setting Up Events
  • Before the Signing
  • Reading or Talking?
  • How to Sign a Book
  • The Book Signing [read this chapter]
  • After the Signing
  • Tips for Bookstores
  • Multi-Author Events
  • Book Conferences and Festivals
  • Non-Book Trade Shows
  • Where Are We Going In This Handbasket?
  • Index