A smile is worth a million bucks. Well, maybe not that much, but it does help at book signings.
Who would want to interact with a sourpuss? No one. The same goes for potential customers either at bookstores or at vendor events.
Engage people with a smile. If they wear a beautiful blouse or earrings, tell them you like them. However, be honest with these. A person can sense an unbelievable claim a mile away.
If at a bookstore, get up and approach customers with your book in hand. Give them a short - and I mean short - description of your book. For example, my spiel of my newly-released, inspiring-historical romance goes this way: “‘This is my historical romance,’ showing them the cover of Lockets and Lanterns. ‘It takes place in Omaha and starts in 1904 and goes from there. Its plot is His secret ... Her broken heart, but it is inspiring. The story gives you a taste of the time period as well as it having a short excerpt, which goes along with the plot, from my grandpa’s 1914 application to the Omaha Fire Department.’ (Why do I mention this? Because my audience is from the Omaha area.) I pause and continue. ‘If interested I am over there (pointing to the book signing table), I will be here from _ to _.’”
Since my first chapters begin with the marriage of Edith to Owen Sias, I wear an old-fashioned wedding costume. This makes me stand out. In addition, I place a bride and groom handkerchief on my book signing table, and I always have a guest book for customers to sign so later you can send them information about your upcoming books. I also have a professionally-made poster. The large poster includes the book’s cover, my name and the words, book signing, and I place the sign on an artist easel behind my table. However, this does not work at places, such as Barnes and Noble bookstores where space is limited.
When I am at a craft or art show, I ask people as they pass if they like to read. If not a reader, they feel free to move onward and why waste their time? However, this is a great way to draw readers to your to your table. Once there, I tell them my novel is a historical romance. In this way, I further filter down my target audience. Would a person who reads thrillers really like a historical romance? Probably not. But there are those who might be ready for a change or may purchase it for a family member. You also could promote aspects of your novel. For instance, my romance includes a mystery - the secret. Some mystery readers have purchased it because of that element. Well, I had better go and as always God bless.