A Note from Carol
We know that coupling a book signing with an event is an effect approach to promotion. Recently, I had the pleasure of doing a book signing at the 6 North Cafe in Ballwin, MO. You may wonder how that would be classified as an event. This breakfast and brunch restaurant has a rich tradition of serving customers great food, amazing coffee, and the opportunity to meet local authors. Kudos to Maria and the folks at 6 North Cafe.
Maria, the owner, contacted me several months before the event. She asked for basic information about my books and about me. Maria created an amazing poster that would be used in a variety of ways. The poster was the size of an 8 1/2by 11 inch paper. The way it was used was brilliant. (Keep reading!)
The poster was displayed in a plastic frame on a baker’s rack in the weeks leading up to the event. I was invited to display a copy of my books for customers to see before the event. I was also able to display bookmarks in one of their coffee cups.
I took the sample copies of my books and bookmarks several weeks before the book signing. I knew as I entered the cafe that the customers were used to meeting authors as several looked to see what was being added to the baker’s rack.
On the day of the event, the poster was moved to the actual book signing table. The table was near the door, in an adjacent corner to the baker’s rack. In other words, it was a comfortable arrangement for customers. They could look over a copy of each book (from the backer’s rack) at their leisure, deciding if they wanted to come over to the book table to chat or purchase a book.
One customer who did just that had a list when she came to the table. She had looked over my books. Her first question was where they could be purchased locally or if they should be ordered directly from the publisher (Zondervan). Next, she purchased two books. One was for a granddaughter’s Easter basket out of state. The other was to show others the book.
Thank you, Maria, for making readers comfortable!
Another wonderful thing about the presentation was the tablecloth. It was gold and filled with messages and signatures of other authors who had had such events at 6 North Cafe. It was awesome knowing that my message would be a part of that tradition as the tablecloth is used at future signings.
THE FOLLOW THROUGH
My day at 6 North Cafe has come and gone, but my presence there continues. After the event, the poster was slipped into a protective sleeve and added to a notebook with the posters of all the authors who have signed books there in the past. Where is the notebook kept? You guessed it. The notebook is on the baker’s rack with the review copies of my books. It is part of the evergreen display of books by other local authors.
You may not own a breakfast and brunch restaurant. The tradition of preparation, presentation, and follow up could be used at a bookstore as well. What book signing traditions have worked well for you as a store owner or author?