I'm back from Amelia Island a few books lighter and with several lessons under my belt. This was my first book signing event, and it went pretty smooth. I met a lot of fantastic authors and readers, and would definitely go again. However, there were a few bumps and are the lesson's learned in no particular order (some offered to me by fellow authors at the festival - thanks K'Anne!):
1. Tape. You'll need both scotch and duct tape. For what? Everything.
2. My banner worked great. I found mounting clips at Office Depot that worked good, but would have worked better with tape. I would have added a banner behind and above me, too. Those call more attention to your booth.
3. Change. I was scrambling the night before to get lots of ones. I think the lady at Publix thought I was getting ready to go to a strip bar.
4. Fish bowl or cookie jar for business cards and giveaway. I used an unsightly piece of disposable Tupperware.
5. NEVER WALK OUT OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT MY COFFEE MUG.
6. Attractive book ends and book display holders. (Duh! Its a book fest.) I even saw one author with a collapsable wire book rack.
7. Ask ahead of time about wi-fi.
8. If you are going to use your phone to take credit cards, have a portable phone charger.
9. Bring. Your. Own. Chair. It was at a middle school, and they must have given me the Timeout Chair.
10. Bring candy to hand out.
11. Bring small cooler with my own lunch, water and snacks.
12. Get one of those beach wagons to haul everything in and out.
14. See-through plastic bags to put your book in.
15. Have your sales pitch ready to go in your mind and keep it simple. After a few deliveries I had mine down OK, but looking back I should have had it tighter. I got asked two basic questions: 1) What is the genre and 2) What is it about? I tried to keep each to one sentence.
Well, that's about it. I'm going to try to make a few more book signings this year. I'll keep you posted here.
Oh, yeah, weirdest question I got asked. "Do you know martial arts?"