What makes for Successful Booksigning Event? It’s all in the Perspective…

by Lynette Eason

Successful or not successful: It’s all in the perspective.

Hi everyone, Lynette Eason here. I just wanted to take a moment to talk booksignings with you. Let me be honest. I like MOST booksignings about as much as I like the pollen that makes me sneeze and lunge for my inhale. Okay, okay, that might be a slight exaggeration—slight. But I just wanted to give you a heads up that if you’re eagerly planning your first—or fiftieth—signing, some are going to go well and others are not.
Or are they?

As you can probably tell, I have a love/hate relationship with them. LOL. I’ve had quite a few signings over the last ten years and I’ve had some that I consider successful and some I would consider a waste of time. The question is, what do you consider a successful signing? I think that depends on your definition of the word successful. Let me give you a couple of examples.

Not too long after my second book with Revell, Don’t Look Back, released, I was doing a booksigning in Spartanburg, SC. Christian Supply is a privately owned store and I have nothing but great things to say about it. Chuck Wallington owns the store and he’s a huge supporter of authors. He willingly opens up the store, spends quite a few dollars on marketing, and he and his staff are just fabulous. All that to say, I had a fabulous signing. People came in – like people I wasn’t related to! – and I signed books for a solid two hours. I don’t know how many I actually sold, but it was a lot! I considered that a successful signing.

Then there was the signing that wasn’t at Christian Supply. I honestly don’t remember which store it was, but I showed up and they had everything ready. The books were neatly stacked, the poster was on the door and the staff actually knew I was going to be there that day. Everything looked great.

And in two hours, I signed maybe three books—I know for sure two of them were pity signings for the bookstore staff!

Now, in terms of sales, this might look like a really dismal booksigning. A failure and a waste of time for everyone involved, right?

Well, no, it actually wasn’t. Why? Because I spent the time talking to the staff. They were so sweet and so interested in my books and I really got to know a few of them. The store wasn’t terribly busy so I wasn’t taking them away from any customers. They actually seemed to rotate in shifts. Two would be working and one would stand there and keep me company, talking to me. And then after a few while, that person would go back to work and another staffer would take her place.

When I left the store, I hadn’t signed many books, but I had several new friends and a couple of new fans. And the cool thing is, I know they’re promoting my books to anyone who walks in and says, “I’m looking for a good suspense story, who should I read?”

So, which booksigning do you consider a “success”?

I would say: BOTH!

What about you?

As a reader, do you go to booksignings? If not, why not? Do you think the ereader explosion has anything to do with the fact that booksignings don’t generally see a huge turn out? (Unless you’re Karen Kingsbury or John Grisham, but we won’t go there…) You know what I mean.

If you’re an author, what do you think about booksignings? Do you do them? Why or why not?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Lynette Eason
 grew up in Greenville, SC. She attended Converse College where she earned her Masters degree in Education. Lynette is the author of more than forty works of romantic suspense, with over 500,000 copies sold of trade editions. In the 2017 edition of Christian Market, she was named as one of the top five romantic suspense authors in the industry. In 2016, she won the Carol Award, the Golden Scrolls Book of the Year award as well as the Daphne Award in her category. She also finaled in several other contests. One crowning achievement that she is most proud of is the fact that she finaled in the 2016 James Patterson co-writer competition, landing in the top ten out of thousands of entries. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). She teaches at writing conference across the southeast. She also travels extensively and is excited that she is getting numerous requests to speak and teach at various events.

Title Photo Copyright: belchonock / 123RF Stock Photo