Hosting a successful booksigning

Last fall we had a book signing at our school. The librarian had a friend who knew a friend who was trying to find schools and book stores willing to hold book signing for Simone Elkleles.  Simone is the author of the popular YA series “Rules of Attraction, Perfect Chemistry & Chain Reaction.”

We had not hosted a book signing since Alex Rodriguez in 2005, so we were more than rusty on the etiquette for welcoming a famous author to the high school.  The Rodriguez book signing was an evening event so the students that attended really wanted to be there.

The Elkeles event was during the day, before school was out.  Students came with their teachers who signed up their 6th period classes.  In education we are seeing more and more examples that manners in America are sadly lacking; when the bell rang over three-quarters of the students (and all of the teachers) got up and left – the author was still speaking.  She rolled with punches though and just kept talking about her latest book.

After the lecture, about 30 students and a few staff members had their book copies signed.  The author had a good time and she appreciated all the little things that we thought of to make the event more comfortable.
Here are some of our suggestions for a great book signing:

  • Have plenty of books on hand.  Some teachers bought copies to give a Christmas gifts.  The publisher also sent us about 25 posters to be signed too.  The poster was too “hot” for a library bulletin board.
  • Have plenty of Sharpies ready.  I also picked up some in silver so her signature would show up on the posters.
  • Ask a student TA to help out at the event for extra class credit.  Another Hot Library Tech from a nearby school came to help out and take care of book sales before and after the event.
  • Have bottled water for the author and the staff working the book signing.
  • Set up book marks if you have them from the publisher.
  • A pretty table-cloth is nice for the display table, but maybe not for the table where the actual signing happens.  Sharpie pen does not come out…..
  • If your author has a roll of “autographed copy” stickers, appoint a student or adult to put the sticker on the cover before the author signs the book.
  • 3M post-it notes are great for letting the author know how their fans want their book autographed. We appointed a person to print the name and then place the post-it on the cover.
  • I picked up a pretty bouquet of flowers for Ms. Elkeles to take with her when she left.  She was scheduled to be in our state for a few days before going back to Chicago.
  • Reserve a parking spot for the author.  We had one of our artistic TA’s make the sign for the parking spot. Of course we went out to find that some individual had moved our reserved sign…again, manners are sadly lacking.

Explore posts in the same categories: Book Signings, Book Tours, Books, Simone Elkeles

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