3 Tips for advertising your book signings

3 Tips for advertising your book signings

press conferenceBook is done and signing is scheduled.  Now you need to get people there.  Readers, writers, casual observers and of course, press.  It’s time to do all the press.

First, determine your message.

Anytime you start passing out information about any of your book signings, keep it short.  With releases and advisories, the first sentence should be who, what, when and where.  The second is why and how–this is where you tell them what is in it for them. IF you must have  a third sentence, make a quote from someone who loves your work.  That’s it.  No more.

Second, determine your outlets.

Radio, newspapers, television, flyers and posters — use the same information but use bullet statements.  Less is more with flyers and posters.  Readers glance at these.  You must get them in a 5-second glance.  The busier the poster, the less likely you get them.


Marketing Primer:


         1- Press.   Two things:  a press release invites the media to the event.  A media advisory invites yourself to appear on their show.

Write a press release that invites the media to the event.  Make it short.  Make your point.  And get out (see above paragraph).  The press get millions of releases every day.  Yep, millions.  Yours needs to stand out.

Here’s how:  understand that the slowest days for news are Sunday and Monday and Wednesday.  But they still have to fill it.  So if your event is held on either of those days, you are more likely to get media to it.

Use the same two or three sentences from before.  Remember to include contact information.


          2- Pre-press.  Write a media advisory that gets you in the press BEFORE the event.  This is radio interviews, television interviews or spots, newspaper pieces, and blogger notes advertising the event.  Go for the big ones, but don’t forget the smaller ones too.

Local radio stations love to give you 30 seconds to a minute.  Doesn’t sound like much?  It does to a listener. This is plenty of time.  Remember those first two sentences of the press release?  Those are your messages. Stay on message!  Make it fun.  Make it exciting.  Make it sound like everyone in the world is going to be there because it is the only thing worth doing that day.  Television stations MIGHT give you more than a minute.  But maybe not.  If you have the wherewithal to create a radio or TV ad, send it out to your local news stations and post it to YouTube.


social-media-bandwagon1          3- Social Media.  USE IT!  Get the flyer or poster on your website, blog, Facebook Page, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr or anywhere else you can think of.  Put it in your email newsletter.  Link it to friend’s blogs and websites and Facebook Pages, etc…  You get the idea.  Put it everywhere.

Additionally, consider a targeted ad on Facebook.  For only a week or two and target the area you’ll be in.


          4- Call, Email, Call.  Author Aaron Ritchey uses this method effectively.  Call “them”  – whoever you want to come – and invite them to come.  Follow up with an email.  Call the day before and remind them.  That’s it.  Anymore and now you’re just stalking and looking desperate.


The biggest thing to remember when inviting people to your book signings is that they are busy and they will forget.  Plan the event months out.  But invite people to it 10 days out.  Two weeks max.  If you plan to do in-person interviews or run ads, call to ask or send the advisory a week or two out but do the interviews the day or two before.

Sound hard?  Nah … your best advertisement is truly just a phone call or email away.

6 Replies to “3 Tips for advertising your book signings”

  1. This is awesome. Great advice and in a language I can understand. Reading this makes me excited for when the times comes for me to go through this process. Eeeek! But at least I know you’ll be there! Thanks!

  2. I’m a long way from this step but thank you for explaining it! It’s always good to know what’s ahead of you.

    1. Hey Kristi, I think envisioning a book launch or a signing is motivating. Get it done so you can share it!

  3. Wow! Great info, Jenny. Thank you for sharing this in such a direct and easy format. It really sheds light on the mystery of what happens after your book is done.

    1. Thanks Deidre! When you get ready, let me know … we can plan a great one!

Would love to hear from you!

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