Hastings Entertainment is a regional retail chain that sells books, music, movies, and video games. It also rents movies and video games and buys used books, music, movies and video games for resale. I knew about the new Hastings in Nampa, Idaho, before they even broke ground and I hoped one day that I’d get a chance to do a book signing there. The store agreed to have me sign in February and I was able to choose the weekend before Valentine’s Day.
In my past experience, book stores in general ordered/bought copies of my book, put their sticker on the back, and then I sold the books at the book signing. The books that were left were put on the store shelf. Because of the economy and/or e-book success, my last signing at Powell’s books in Oregon had to be books I personally brought in. Hastings did something a little different, too. They took two of each of my titles on consignment and then I brought additional books in to sell at the signing. I received a contract explaining the percentage the store would receive. They displayed the consignment books in the local author section. I produced a page that contained my book signing information and the store posted it in the coffee shop. I had the opportunity to bring in a poster to display at the counter a week before the signing.
A table was provided, but I didn’t know what size it would be until the day of the signing (it depended on what was available). I ended up with a square card table and a table cloth. At the table, I was given sales stickers to put on the back of the book(s) to be sold and the shopper took the book through the store’s checkout line.
I’d often wondered what a good display for my table should look like. I’ve since learned you can buy a disposable plastic table cloth at a dollar store. It’s a good deal, but I find myself using a white table cloth most of the time (if one isn’t provided). I own a square card table, but I prefer to use a rectangular shape for more space to set up books, a vinyl poster, postcards, bookmarks, rack cards, and objects that have to do with my story or setting. The picture above is an excellent display by multi-published author Paty Jager. My sister made the shadow box in the photo to the right, which includes my three books. I think it’s a nice visual to add to my table.
I do try to say good morning, or afternoon, to those that cross my path, and I’ve learned there’s something about someone wishing you a good morning that puts a smile on your face.
I am an ace at remembering/naming stars when they appear in reruns, but after several people pass by my table they all start to look the same. It’s a problem when they stop and you’ve talked, then they come back to purchase and you introduce yourself again.
It’s lonely out there and you can feel awkward and self-conscious if you’re new at this. I can push those feelings aside and I’ve come to enjoy talking with people going by. If a person likes to read and/or write they will stop and look. Many people don’t choose to read, whether due to time restraints or they spend their time with all that technology has to offer these days. Hastings has several other products to compete with. I enjoyed seeing the variety of things offered at Hastings.
A book signing is not always the best marketing ploy a writer has. Some authors don’t feel it’s a good use of time. It matters if you know anyone in the area where you’re signing. At Hastings, four of my writing friends stopped by and it made my day.
Remember to support your local author by showing up to say hi. You don’t have to buy a book to be remembered fondly.
You can find Book Signing Part I here:https://gemstatewriters.wordpress.com/author/maryvine/page/4/