Best Venues for Book Signings (Children’s Authors)
A book signing is considered a rather difficult endeavor for any author interested in marketing their published works. In order to successfully pull off a book signing, an author needs to go through some careful planning and maintain a serious work ethic to make the event happen. Not all potential venues accept authors for a book signing. If a venue does allow authors to hold a book signing on their premises, the author must make sure to go through proper channels and have a solid return policy in place. Imagine how difficult it must be for a children’s book author to book a signing event for their works. Few places allow children’s book authors, let alone authors, to hold a book signing without having some sort of marketing platform or following. However, there still exists several places where a children’s book author can hold a book signing and interact with current and newfound fans. Remaining organized and understanding how the process works is half the battle.
Best Venues for Children’s Book Signings
What is the goal of a successful book signing? The main goal of holding a book signing is drawing guests to the event in order to sell books. In order to accomplish that goal, a children’s book author needs to find the best venue possible for their event. The best venue possible is one where an author can find potential readers, as well as successfully meet up with their current readers. Before booking the perfect venue, it is important to research potential locations where a children’s book author can hold a book signing.
Book Signings in Book Stores
Naturally, the best venue for a children’s book signing is a bookstore. Many bookstores have enough floor space for children and their parents to gather and meet authors. Some bookstores dedicate a large portion of their floor space to children’s and teen books, so authors should consider that particular location as a prospective venue for their book signing. A number of bookstores do hold author events, but not all allow independent authors to schedule events like book signings in their store, unless they meet certain criteria. Some bookstore chains will allow an independent author to schedule a signing if they can tie it into an event, such as face painting, or a real life encounter with something interesting (no…you don’t count). Bookstores will want a percentage of the sales which you must agree to ahead of time, and the stores must be able to obtain your books ahead of time so that they can adequately promote you. If you do not have a way for the bookstore to obtain or order at least a unit of 25-50 books, then get one. You will have very little success without this ability.
There are several distributors who carry books in their warehouse. Your bookstore no doubt orders directly from them. However, they will order directly from you if you can show that you have a track record of selling a set number of books per signing. Having a gimmick when you sell your books, like free giveaways, offering free pictures with the book’s character, etc.. are all great ways to get parents to turn out for the event.
Independent bookstores can be your champions as they set their own schedules and decide which books they will carry. Most bookstores schedule their events six months or more in advance so make sure you book early.
Book Signings in Libraries
Libraries typically hold many types of community events throughout the month. Author signings happen to be one of the more common events, usually taking place during most months of the year. In most cases, libraries require authors to schedule their prospective signings a few months in advance. Most libraries will schedule author signings or programs up to six months in advance. To book a children’s book signing, it is suggested to get in touch with the children’s department at your local library. Many children’s librarians are willing to talk with authors about scheduling a potential event for their part of the building. Authors may also be able to donate their books to their local library in anticipation of their signing event, however, most libraries have certain requirements for independent and local authors who want to donate their works to the library.
Book Signings at Children’s Festivals and Events
Look in your local area to see what types of festivals and events will be taking place throughout the year, then schedule to be there. Many of these events will charge a booth fee, but they are usually nominal and you will tend to sell more books in these events than in many book stores. Make your booth very visual and offer free giveaways.
Any and all venues where children and their parents abound are fair game for book signings and events. The more creative you become, the more books you will sell. As a prerequisite to most of these events, you will need to make sure to create a very good presskit with quality photos and information.
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