While Waiting for Your Book to Go Viral

It’s out there! Your new book is finally in your hands. The cover is beautiful, the bio clever, and you have scheduled several book signings. Way to go!

Let’s talk strategy. Many of you are seasoned veterans of the book signing circuit, and I tip my hat to you. I’ve been at this a little over a year now and am by no means an expert. This year has been my experimental year. I decided to learn this art and learn it well. I am a strong believer in social media and want to sell my books online, too. As many of you already know, it isn’t that easy. It takes time to get your name noticed. What do you do in the meantime?

I am finding a great deal of success in selling print books. From watching and learning, I have discovered a method that works very well. I am part of a team. Likeminded authors who embrace the concept we promote. The core team usually stays the same although others have joined us from time to time. It changes depending on the location.  In refining our approach at book signings we have found a system that works. I want to share it with you.

The system works for festivals as well as smaller venues, such as libraries, book stores, and specialty shops, but partnering with the right authors is the key. The best scenario is to have no more than four authors at a signing or in a booth. We’ve stretched it to five, but find a smaller number is the best. It’s agreed beforehand that you exercise the ‘pitch and pass’ method. You all know about ‘the pitch’. A catch line that invites your client into the story without giving too much away. It needs to be refined, practiced, polished. It is the hook that draws them in.

Too many times, I’ve watched authors drone on about their story until the client’s eyes glaze over and lose interest in looking at anyone else’s book. All of us have put time, money, gas, and promotional item expenses into these signings. It’s not professional to monopolize the client. By working together, we excite the client, and they are anxious to hear about the next book.

So, how to begin?

The client walks toward the table. You are ready with either a book or bookmark in hand and reach out to deliver.  “What do you like to read?” you ask. The client answers with, murder mysteries, romance, thrillers, etc. If your book has ANY of the elements mentioned you are ready to deliver your pitch. Make it thirty to forty-five seconds, no longer.

You then ‘pass’ to the next author by saying, John Doe has written a lovely mystery, also.  In this way, each author can pitch and have a chance to make a sale. If you have NO elements of what the client likes to read, pass immediately to one that does.

Nine times out of ten, the client will return to the author that offers the pitch that intrigues them the most. That is when you can elaborate in more detail. Especially at festivals with fast moving crowds, it allows you to talk to more people and move the crowd along. Those really interested in your pitch will come back to you. It works like a well-oiled machine. The proof? Total of my books sold in the last three signings I was a part of…seventy-five. Polish your pitch!

Patty Wiseman is author of An Unlikely Arrangement. Click here to purchase the book direct from Amazon. 


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