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So you’ve finished your book, you’ve had it edited (hopefully by us!), the interior formatting and cover design have been completed, the e-books are ready to be uploaded to your online distribution platforms, the paperbacks have been ordered and received…and now it’s time to release your novel out into the world! Does any of this sound confusing? Midnight Publishing offers an array of editing, ghostwriting and marketing services that include assisting you with the self-publishing process! Contact us today to discuss how we can help you publish your book!

If you’ve always dreamed of signing books for excited readers in a bookstore, don’t assume this isn’t an option if you’re a self-publisher. Indie bookstores are on the rise in Arizona and across the country, and many of them are more than willing to host self-published authors for events and book signings. You can contact any of the stores below and discuss their process for hosting local authors when a new book is releasing (or even if you just feel like hosting a book reading).

Some indie bookstores to consider in Arizona:

Changing Hands (Tempe and Phoenix locations)

The Poisoned Pen (Scottsdale)

Book Krazy (Phoenix)

The Bookshop (Phoenix)

Now on to the five most important things you want to remember when preparing for your book signing in a brick-and-mortar location:

1. Decide How the Bookstore Will Sell Your Books

This is by far the most important aspect to hosting a signing at a store—the bookstore will need some of your books to sell to the readers and fans who show up! The thing is that if you self-publish and use the free ISBNs provided by CreateSpace or another paperback printing service instead of purchasing them from Bowker, then the bookstore has no way of purchasing your books through a distribution service at the discounted price they require. So you have two options: to buy ISBNs for your books, or to see if they’d be willing to sell them on consignment—this means that you purchase the paperbacks through CreateSpace at cost, then the bookstore will sell those books and split the remaining profit with you. Learn all about purchasing ISBNs versus using the free ones offered by distribution platforms like Amazon and Createspace by checking out this post.

2. Market in Advance—But Not Too Far

Once you’ve secured a date and time, blast the heck out of it on social media starting about a month before. Any earlier than that and people will forget, any later and they may already have plans. Also, see whether the bookstore has a newsletter or some sort of marketing material that they’ve drafted up for you—ask for copies to post on Twitter, Facebook, your newsletter, website, etc. and mindfully continue to remind your readers about the upcoming signing.

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3. Think About Refreshments and Possibly Even Food

As an indie, it’s assumed that a lot of your local readers are going to be friends, family, and pleasant acquaintances you’ve met along your publishing journey. They most likely won’t be complete strangers (though it would be fantastic if a few of them came too!), so they will really appreciate if you’re able to go the extra mile and provide water and soda, and maybe some finger foods. Always be sure to ask the bookstore beforehand about their policy on this. As they say, though, free food and drink are always an incentive for people to attend, so continue to mention that “light refreshments and snacks” will be provided throughout your marketing campaign.

4. Prepare Games and Activities

Have a list of a few easy games and activities to do during the book signing if you want to keep your readers and fans engaged. Consider silly ones like “Who Am I?” and other icebreakers to get people laughing. The other upside? You get to truly interact with your readers on a personal level. Find a list of easy icebreaker games here.

5. Select An Excerpt to Read From

Another fun activity to plan for during the book signing is to read a short excerpt from your new release to the audience. Keep it under two-three minutes, though; just because they may love reading your work doesn’t mean they want to hear it as an audio version. Some authors may feel this puts them on the spot too much, so this step can be skipped if desired.

Dreaming of hosting that in-person bookstore signing one day? Midnight Publishing is a Phoenix-based, award-winning group of editors, marketers, and writers who will assist you in achieving your publishing goals fast. Contact us for a free sample edit and see why we’re the top editing company in Arizona for seven years running.