I never thought I’d be where I am today.
When I first began writing my books, I didn’t have a clue of how to market them. I assumed if I wrote it, people would just randomly buy it. Wrong. You have to spread the word. So, after exhausting my family members, I decided to branch out. Initially, my family were the only ones purchasing my books. That’s because others didn’t know I existed.
So, I began reaching out to people with large followings and to local bookstores for ideas on how to market my books. And, boy, did they deliver.
In order to establish yourself with a bookstore, you must reach out to them. Otherwise, they do not know you exist. Each bookstore does things differently. So, you’ll have to contact them directly to see how they do business. Some charge a consignment fee, while others will just order a few of your books offline.
As far as a book signing, many bookstores are open to it. When I initially published my first book, everything was still closed because of the pandemic. Now that things are back open, they are open to book signings at their stores.
Literally, all you have to do is call the bookstore and discuss a date. They typically have a table. So, you’ll just have to bring copies of your book. I usually bring between 25 and 30 books. Bring a tablecloth, table décor, and some goodies to give away. I usually bring bookmarks. I have a table topper that shows my Cashapp and Paypal, if they would like to purchase something directly from me.
My first book signing was in Wilmington, Delaware at Books & Bagels. It is a black owned bookstore, situated on 7th street in downtown Wilmington. The owner, Ellen, and I spoke months ago about scheduling a book signing. Her bookstore is very new, so this was a great experience for both of us. I was so nervous.
Our deal was, Ellen, the bookstore owner, set everything up. I just needed to be there with my books. She had music, décor, and a photographer. The vibe was lit. I love that all ethnicities came by. Someone even brought their puppy. So cute! We have a deal where we split the profits of the sales. To advertise, I created a flyer on Canva with all of our information. I shared it to her. We both promoted the event, leading up to it.
The nice thing about book signings, despite how many people come, others learn about you as an author. I was able to meet a variety of people and they shared my work with others. It was a fantastic experience.
If you’d like to meet me and possible purchase a copy (or copies) of my book, I’ll be in Atlanta on December 19th at Nubian Books. Stop by and check me out!