Got Print Books? Have a Book Signing! Part 3 of 3: Have Fun

The most important thing about a book signing is to have fun. If you love books, and you love talking about books, the "having fun" part should be easiest of all.

(This is Part 3 of 3, Got Print Books? Have a Book Signing. If you'd like to read Part 1, click here. If you'd like to read Part 2, click here.

7 Tips to Having Fun at Your Book Signing

1. Go in with the attitude of talking about books with other readers. You're there to meet readers and connect--not to sell books.

2. Take along a candy jar filled with Hershey Kisses or something similar. Nothing breaks the ice like candy. Offer each person who passes a chocolate. A lot of people will steer clear of somebody sitting at a table with a stack of books because they're afraid they might have to buy something they don't want. But just about everyone will take a candy. Put a big sign by the jar that says: "Books are treats--so is candy. Have a free candy." Something like that.

In Part 2, I talked about bringing a friend "to talk you up." The more extroverted and garrulous the friend; the more people who will approach you.  The goal is to get the person to approach so you can start a conversation.

3. Have a poster or sign that explains who you are and what you're doing. Say Hello to Author Ima Writer -- She loves to talk about books! Otherwise, people will be stopping by to ask you the location of Tide or Crisco or dog chow.

4. Have bookmarks or postcards or some kind of print material to hand out to everyone who passes your table. Great conversation starters. Some people may not buy the book, but they may go to the website later to do so.

5. Smile at everyone who looks your way. Don't be afraid to make eye contact. Call out, "Hello! I'm Bea Writer. I write mystery novels, and this is my latest book. What do you like to read?" If you're shy, use your friend to do this.

6. Take along another friend who will sit at the table with you so you won't feel or look lonely. With 2 friends as backup, you're more likely to feel comfortable and friendly to everyone. One friend can steer people to your table. The friend at the table can hand out your printed material and open a conversation. Working the crowd is a learned skill, and a 3-pronged approach is great.

7. Take a camera and have your friend take pictures or video of you signing books, greeting people, or just looking relaxed and happy. These are great for posting on social media and websites. Don't be surprised if people want to have a photo made with you. Ask their permission if you plan to put it online. (In fact, from my freelance days, I urge you to have them sign a simple release form. Example: Author Mary Smith has my permission to use my image and post it (be specific here on her website, blog, Facebook, or whatever... Then have the person sign and date it.)

Takeaway Truth

I've done a lot of book signings everywhere from a corporate boardroom to libraries to WalMart and bookstores. I've always found them to be great fun. Let me know if you have one and how you liked it.


  1. I did my first real book signing a few weeks ago and found that bringing friends really does help! I am seriously introverted and don't like to sell people my books, but having a couple other authors there and signing all together was such fun. I felt more at ease and comfortable talking to people that came by and in the down time we chatted with the bookstore staff and each other. It was great :) Thanx for the tips!

    1. So glad you had a good experience, Rebekah. Book signings can be so much fun if you just focus on the commonality shared by the author and the customers -- love of reading!