Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Successful Book Signings - Tricia Goyer

This Writer’s Journey Wednesday we’re going to look at book signings. This past weekend, Annette and I were able to attend Tricia Goyer’s signing of her latest novel, The Swiss Courier, at the Lifeway Christian Bookstore in the Seattle area.

After the signing, the three of us, Amy Lathrop (Tricia’s fabulous assistant), and author friends, Ocienna Fleiss and Judy Gann, enjoyed a leisurely lunch together. While we shared good food and great conversation, I asked Tricia what she believed helped make a book signing successful.

Tips for a Successful Book Signing

* Promote the book signing by using your networks, such as Twitter and Facebook. Some major stores are also connected to those networks and you can utilize them.

* Prior to the signing, check with the store to see if they are using any type of signage for promotion, or if you can bring your own.

* Stick labels with the date and time of the signing on promotional postcards and send them to the store prior to the event. Employees can stick the postcards in bags with items customers purchase.

* If the novel isn’t your first release, inquire prior to the signing if the store would be willing to have your other books available for purchase.

* Include other authors in your signing. It can help build interest and attendance. Not to mention make the day even more fun!

* If you can, hold the signing between 1:00-3:00 pm. There’s generally more store traffic in the afternoon.

* Hold a drawing for a prize, such as a gift basket. But stay away from giving a free book as the prize. People will hold off buying your book, hoping they might win one.

* Slips of paper and pens should be available for people to sign up for the drawing. Include a space for their name, address, and email information, along with a box for them to check if they would like to receive your newsletter (if you write one). If you’re a speaker, this is another area where people can request information. Tricia’s experience has been that 80% of the people will request to be put on the mailing list. This enables her to keep in connected with her readers, and also opens up the doors to speaking engagements.

* Try to avoid just signing your book and sending the reader on her/his way. Engage them in conversation by asking a few questions. Cue in to what they’re saying and if you have the time, give it to them. It shows that you care about them and can make them feel special. (During this particular signing, one reader chit-chatted several times with Tricia, but those conversations led to one more intimate and meaningful.)

* Postcards and bookmarks can be given away to help promote the book.

* If the opportunies are there, talk to both the manager and the sales staff.

* Keep extra books handy in your car. If the store runs out, you can ask if they’d like to use the extras and how they’d like to handle the sales.

* Bring or send the manager a small gift, such as a box of chocolates. Include a handwritten thank you note.

* Don’t worry about numbers—how many people show up and buy books. God will bring the right people there that day.

To find out more about Tricia and her writing, please visit :

Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children's book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana.


  1. Thanks again, Tricia, for your helpful insight on book signings.

    It was great fun to chat with you and Amy! :)


  2. Thanks for the tips, Tricia! Dawn, you did a great job interviewing Tricia in the midst of all the chatter around you.

    Lunch was fun. Thank you for brainstorming with me!

  3. Thanks, Tricia for visiting SW. Judy, I'm so glad you left a comment here. Love your WIP concept!

    And to all the ladies at lunch that day--thanks! What fun.

  4. I was a great lunch ... what a gift to get to know you better! I can't wait until we meet up again!!

  5. Thank you for taking it beyond selling books, Tricia. Your post is wonderful :-)


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