Author Tips



Author Tips: Book Signing Event Ideas

by Prodigy Gold Books

Designing and implementing a marketing plan can be an author’s worst nightmare or a dream come true. Keep in mind that every piece of your marketing plan must be a strategic way to tell the public about you and your book. One great way to say to the world that your book is excellent is to meet people and potential fans in person at a book signing event. This article will give you four easy steps to hosting your book signing.

Prepare. After you’ve decided to host a book signing event, the first step is to choose a venue. A local bookstore is an obvious choice, but you can think outside the box about your venue. If your book is about nutrition, consider asking a local health food store if you can host your event there. Places of worship, community centers and universities are all good options as well. Consider the topic of your book and then think of a place where people who may be interested in your book would go. After you’ve decided on a venue to approach, visit their website to see if they have any guidance for how to set up a signing, prepare a professional sales sheet with all of the metadata for a store to locate your book (we do provide a sales sheet for your use), be prepared with a copy of your book to give to someone at your venue just in case they request one to review the book in advance. One place to look at to have a signing would be locating a Barnes and Nobles store at Barnes and Nobles College campus stores have less red tape than the other stores. You can identify independent stores using Indie Bound You may want to have bookmarkers and postcards on hand to leave at bookstores generally, for them to give to customers. Let us know if you need bookmakers designed, we can create them, and send them to you to print locally. You can have some posters that stand on a table designed or a banner. A beautiful table clothe, and some candy bowls with wrapped candy is also a nice touch.

Reach out. Once you have your book sales sheet and your venue in mind, approach someone at the place and discuss your ideas. If they agree to host your book signing, you are ready to start telling people about the event. Apparently the venue will want to bring people into their business as well, so work with them to design flyers to give their customers. If you need a social media ad designed, we can have that ad created for you to post on your social media or website. We will also list your event on our website calendar, and blast the event on our social media so please be sure to inform your contact if you confirm a signing date. Consider contacting your local newspaper and radio station to offer an interview. Mail postcards to everyone you know and include a personal touch to invite them. Remember, you are in charge of your event—this is not the time to be shy! Talk about it to everyone you meet. While chatting with the store representative, you can determine if you’ll have to read an excerpt of your book, have an open discussion, or have a table to sign copies.

Be Confident. When your event day comes, the best thing you can do is be confident. Remember, this is your party so let it reflect your personality. Here are some essential tips you can use to make the day go smoothly:

Bring a friend along to be in charge of the book sales so you can focus on meeting people and signing books. This is if the store hasn’t brought copies of the book in advance. If they buy in advance, all you have to do is show up and sign. Those sales will be generated through our wholesaler and will show in your royalty for that month. If you have to bring your books, you would have purchased books from us and determined your retail sales split with the store, which ranges from 50-80%, depending on the store and locations—the more remote the place, the higher the royalty usually. Some stores pay cash at the end, and some give a check upon the conclusion of the event.

Take a guest book with you to collect an opt-in list where people can sign up to join your mailing list or find you on social networks. You could also share this e-mail list with us so that we can keep them informed of your new releases, new editions, and special events.

Make it clear on your book sales table about what payment methods you accept. If you take personal checks, make sure you have a sign who to make them out. Don’t forget to bring change too. Download an app that allows you to collect payments using your cell phone for when you have an event that you’re not splitting with anyone and need to accept debit/credit cards.

Have extra books. You would hate to run out of books so even if you leave a box in your car you know you have them. Approximately 25-40 books are good to take to a signing. Barnes and Nobles will typically buy 30 in advance and will let you sign a few leftovers, but they will return any remainders.

Give readers a bookmark, business card or postcard to remember you and your book. These promotional items make great giveaways.

Smile! Let people know how glad you are they came to your event.

Say Thank You. After your event is over, take a deep breath, but don’t stop there. Offer to donate a signed copy of your book to the venue and sign additional copies they may have purchased if the store owner doesn’t mention it. Write personal notes to everyone who helped you—your friends who sold books, a reporter who interviewed you and the venue host or hostess. Anyone and everyone who assisted you before and during your event should receive a thank you note or appropriate gift. You want to leave a good impression and hopefully receive a return invitation. You may want to have an event there again, so your utmost professionalism is imperative.

Following these steps does not guarantee that your event will be a tremendous success, especially if it is your first and you are not a best selling author (yet!). Remember, even if a lot of your fans aren’t there, the store will have regular customers stopping in to buy books. They may not have known you were there, but be prepared to approach people and talk to them about your book’s content. Have your elevator pitch down to make that sale. You don’t have total control over the situation but being prepared, staying calm under pressure and maintaining a smile can go a long way. Good luck. Always remember the definition of prodigy…that’ll take you far.


Author Tips: The Audiobook Production Process

by Prodigy Gold Books

ACX is an Amazon operation that connects authors/publishers with audiobook producers. Essentially, many of the producers will produce the book with zero upfront costs and do a royalty share of the income earned. We utilize that service to cut costs while giving us the opportunity to bring books to life for people that enjoy listening to books. Some of you have asked a myriad of questions about this process and I will answer some of them here, but you can message me if you have more questions.

1) Can I produce my own audiobook? After careful thought, I have decided to leave this up to you. I do not suggest it because it's just not something that a mainstream author would do, and I like follow the mainstream for wide acceptance of our titles. JK Rowlings and James Patterson wouldn't narrate their own works. To do this you will need to set up a home studio or produce it at a local studio. A unique way to oversee this, but have someone else produce it, is finding a local college with a mass communications program and approaching them to have students do it. 

2) If I decide to produce my own book who would be responsible for the production costs? If you decide to take on the production of your audiobook, Prodigy Gold Books will not fund that project at this time. We are a new press and cannot provide the capital for that, which is why we have taken advantage of ACX services. You may wait for the royalties of your book from other channels to pay for the production costs.

3) Can I find the producer on ACX? Yes, I have contacted them and have been informed that you can access the narrators and listen to the samples that each narrator has on their profiles. The link for that will be below. If you decide to start listening, upon completion send Jon a list of about twenty people and we will contact them to provide an audition of the sample we have uploaded for your book.

4) Upon selecting a producer, they will begin producing the audiobook? You will provide a pronunciation sheet of uncommon names and words. We will set a time frame for completion. We usually have them send us chapter by chapter via Dropbox so that everyone involved can listen to the chapters as they're completed. Upon submitting the entire book to ACX they review it and then release it on iTunes, Audible and Amazon.

5) Can I add sound effects and music? Music at the beginning and end of a chapter is OK. Gunshots, cars screeching, yelling, or other distracting sounds aren't acceptable, as they startle readers, make them quit listening to the book, and give it low scores in Audio reviews. We do not want that, so any sort of sounds outside of light music will not be accepted.

6) When will my book release? We have no control over audiobook release dates. They do not allow us to mark the books for pre-order. Upon their review, if all is well, they make the book available and send us an e-mail indicating that.

Hopefully, I have answered the basics of how this works, and look forward to you listening to some of the producers and selecting the one you like most. You have options in the search menu to decide the tone, race, gender, accent and many other things to help you narrow your list down to the perfect set of candidates. Right now all of your books are in the available queu which is why you may have had some auditions, but we will directly ask producers to submit to us in the coming days.

Let me know if you have any questions.