The signing was great fun. I met some wonderful readers, networked with fellow authors, and learned a lot.
And I didn’t sell a single book.
This is unusual. Admittedly, my signing sales don’t usually compare to a sale on Amazon or Kobo, but I’ve never sold none. So, I started looking at why. What was different for me at this signing? And then it hit me.
My visibility this time was almost nill.
Most signings I attend have a significant Facebook presence. I make it a point to post in those groups multiple times. I put up funny memes and teasers, post book links, reply to other people’s posts and basically act as I might at a cocktail party with friends. I do this over a course of at least two weeks prior to the signing. I also post in my own reader group, reminding friends of the signing and encouraging them to attend if they are in the area.
If I have a new book coming out, I post about that. If I am not sure how many books to take with me, or how many readers will be in attendance, I post a preorder link. Not only does this give me a better idea of how many books to bring, but it also raises my visibility and increases reader appetite for my books.
I send reader SWAG ahead to be included in the VIP bags. I create SWAG to hand out to everyone I meet once I get there.
In other words, I do everything I can to raise my profile for those who will attend the signing. I’ve mentioned before that it generally takes seven touches to move a reader from their first encounter to purchase. This is true for all products, but it may be especially true for books.
So, why didn’t I do most of these things this time?
First off, I didn’t know I was going to be able to attend until quite late in the game. I usually register for a signing and put a deposit (at least) on my table up to a year in advance. This time, I only had about a month, and I didn’t realize I would have a table until about two weeks prior. (To be clear, this was my fault, not the organizer’s. I simply missed the memo.) My goal this time was to raise my editor visibility, rather than my author visibility.
So, my lesson for future events is: if readers will be there, prepare as if it is a signing, even if the hat you plan to wear says Editor. That way, you won’t end up invisible.