Sunday, July 19, 2009

You Had A Booksigning WHERE?

I must admit - this was not my idea. It never occurred to me to schedule a booksigning in an airport. However, a very good friend (and talented author) suggested it. Think about it. Why not? There are bookstores in airports, and there are people in airports. Books+people=winning combination. The only missing element here is the promotion, and this did scare me in the beginning. I always send out press releases and use flyers and postcards to advertise my signings. This was a bit scary. I thought, "What if this is not successful?" Then I thought, "What if it is??????"

I contacted a bookstore at the nearest airport and found that the manager was excited about having me visit. He was even more excited when I told him I would be wearing fairy wings and bringing a sparkly purple tablecloth. (Take a peek at my previous blog about authors needing props). The result of the signing was just as I had hoped. We sold lots of books and I was invited to return. It was exciting to think that my books would be traveling all over the world. Many, many people purchase books before boarding their planes. Many people are looking for a last minute gift to take along. Others have children with them and are happy to find an autographed book to use as a happy diversion on their trip.

Since my initial airport signing, I have been a guest at a number of airport bookstores. I have learned a few things along the way. First, it works best to be in a location that is inside the secure area. After people have gone through security they are more relaxed and have more time to shop. Before going through security, they tend to be in a hurry. Second, wear or display something that will attract attention.(Be careful here. Airport security is tight and foolishness is not in order.)Third, set up one or 2 professional looking posters that can be seen in a crowded terminal. Fourth, don't just sit there hoping that people will come up to you. Don't look bored. Don't send text messages. Stand up. Talk to people. Engage them in conversation. Tell them about your book. Ask them where they are headed. Above all - SMILE. Oh, and by the way, it also helps to have your husband accompany you wearing a wizard hat!

I'd love to hear from other people who have hosted a signing in an unusual place. I would also love to hear from anyone who has purchased a book in an unusual place.

A special thanks to Cynthia Polansky for her wonderful suggestion.

Fairy wishes to all,
Bobbie Hinman


L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've heard several author friends say airport bookstores were the best, but they can be a tough market to break into.
Add to rules - be sure YOU can get through the security station without a boarding pass! I've heard of several instances where the author could not reach the bookstore for this reason.

L. Diane Wolfe

Fairy Lady said...

Hi. Thanks for bringing this up. You just have to make prior arrangements to call the bookstore when you arrive at the airport and they will send someone to escort you through security. You need to have your picture I.D. and nothing with you that wouldn't pass security. My fairy wings always catch them a little off-guard.

Cyn Narcisi said...

What a brilliant idea for a signing and a great opportunity to meet with people who you might not otherwise have been exposed to.