Dave was my first! I’ll never forget Dave. He walked into the gym wearing jeans and a bottom up shirt carrying his gym bag, unaware of who I was or what was going on. He scanned his membership card and noticed the food laid out to the right and inquired about what was going on. That was my cue.
I jumped on the opportunity to introduce myself and tell him about my books. Within what seemed like no time at all, he was ready to purchase one of my books (Diet and Exercise: The Road to Healthy Living and Self-Acceptance).
I asked his name, smiling uncontrollably, as I prepared to sign his book. This was it, for the first time in my life, I was putting pen to the inside of a book cover to sign my name on a book I’d written and sold.
I arrived at the gym around 6:20pm, my car filled with food trays and boxes of books. I was wearing a new outfit I’d bought just for the occasion. I knew I had spent more money on this event than what I could ever expect to get out of it, but it was my first book signing, and I wanted it to be an event I would remember fondly.
The press releases I’d sent out in the hope I would garner some coverage for the event had yielded no interest and very few people had RSVP’ed to my event invite on Facebook. I had no idea what kind of turnout to expect.
Before I walked in to the gym, I prayed one more time, asking God to make this event exactly what I needed it to be, according to His will and knowledge of what was best for me. I then proceeded to walked into the gym. The staff had already arranged the front area of the gym in support of my book signing—the setup was perfect. With the manager’s help, we finished setting up. Once done, it was time to wait and see who showed up.
While overall the attendance was small, it was still an excellent event. I had plenty of time to chat with those who did come out, and each time I signed a book, I was all smiles. It was fun, it felt good, it was meaningful (having some of my family present who have supported me on my journey meant the world to me) and I had the opportunity to introduce my writing/begin sharing my story with new people.
After the event, my family helped me clean up. I drove home filled with gratitude and joy. I gave thanks to the Lord for blessing me with a humble initial book signing, but worthwhile beginning to my career as a writer.
I look forward to more book signing and expanding into doing speaking engagements. I’m not going to ease up in continuing to write and continuing to put myself and my work out there. There’s a lot of hard work to be done but I’m ready for it!!
Steps I took before the Book Signing
- Wrote and sent a press release announcing the book signing to all local media (newspaper and news stations)
- Posted event on online community calendars.
- Created an event poster and posted it on community boards around town.
- Created a Facebook event on my Facebook page. Paid to boost the post (no return on investment)
- Made one of the books available for Free download
- Promoted the book signing through the Free download
- Ordered thank you/stay in touch cards with information about my website from VistaPrint.
- Ordered Poster with my picture and “Meet the Author, Ann Bernard” to post behind me.
- Bought light refreshments (sandwiches, veggie platter, cheese plate, and cookies) and wine.
At the Book Signing
- Had a sign-up sheet for my newsletter. Offered a chance to win the next 3 books in the series for those who signed-up.
- Had a notepad to first spell out names I wasn’t sure about. (A recommendation that came from an author’s Facebook group I partake in).
- Realized how horrible my hand writing truly is!
- And got confused if I was supposed to sign all three books…if they bought all three books…