Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to get a book signing; How YOU can pull in traffic.

    How can you pull in traffic?

    Before pitching a product--or book--to anyone, you need to prove they will benefit from carrying your merchandise.
    I know about this because I used to have a sewing business.  Three years ago it was the fifth largest custom clothing business in the world--isn't that a mouth-full!  But I got there by working hard, being unique and pulling in traffic.  And I found, that's how I got into Barnes and Noble.
    Here are some of my sets from way back when--before I quit sewing to pursue a writing career.

For now, let's get back to book signings.  My hands are cramping just looking at those pictures--sewing started killing my hands and I'm only twenty-nine!  Making seven to twenty-one outfits a week, well, that's bound to take its toll.

    Everyone has something special to offer, whether you're a writer who can deal a mean deck of cards at night, or a housewife who's a mathematician in training.  Somehow USE your gifts together.   I have a friend who can paint.  He went to different churches and while he talked about God, he'd paint a picture.  People never forget him.  Another friend reads her books to kids and then shows them card tricks.
    Now, before thinking about any of this, I asked for a signing at B & N five times!  They kept saying no.  Then it hit me--they had no reason to say yes.  I wouldn't pull in much traffic at that time.
    So, I set up speaking engagements at many places in the area--schools, groups of home schoolers, churches, adults dealing with loss, writing groups etc.  Anyway, if you follow this blog, you know I was terrified to even talk at an elementary assembly!  I brought my violin and it went so well I was shocked.  
    Here's the link to that video if you haven't seen it:

    After I talked at one place, I called a few bookstores and coffee shops AGAIN.  "I'm speaking at many places in the area.  It's going very well.  I'd love to pass out flyers and advertise if you'd giving me a signing at your store," I said.
    "Where are you speaking?"
    I told them about the University of Phoenix and various other places.  They double checked that my book was approved in their system and . . . yahoo, I got some signings.  I'd finally given them a reason to say yes!
    Tomorrow, I'd like to talk about being unique.  Now you know how to get a signing at a nice bookstore, let's talk about making that signing a success.