Is a Book Signing Worth It?


market and publish your bookDear Fellow Writer,

As an author looking to market your brand, is a book signing worth it?

Let’s start by looking at what a book signing can do for you.

Traditionally, book signings are events hosted by bookstores or libraries. The author of a featured book (or books) attends, sometimes does a reading from one of his or her own books, and sometimes sits for a Q&A session.

At the end of the event, the author sits and signs books for fans in attendance. Fans typically bring their own copies of the book, or purchase a book while at the event. Some fans bring other materials to be signed, such as bookmarks, photos, or posters of the author or book.

Benefits of a Book Signing

Book signings are popular among book collectors because an author’s signature increases the value of those books.

For dedicated fans, having an author’s signature plus a personalized message adds personal value.

From an author perspective, it could be beneficial to sign book copies for future sale, under the assumption that readers will perceive those books as more valuable. (Plus, a signed book can’t be returned to the publisher for a refund.)

I’ve met authors who go into bookstores, find copies of their own books, sign the first page, and then sneak out of the store hoping they’ve left a nice surprise for a future reader. I can imagine it would be a lovely surprise to someone who adores that author … assuming the reader doesn’t worry it’s a fake signature. (But then, who would do that?)

Most of the time, a book signing is more than just the chance to get an author’s signature. At well-attended events, many copies of the author’s book get sold. Signings also prompt a spike in public perception of authors.

And of course, book signings are a way for authors to connect personally with their fans and answer questions.

Should a New Author do a Book Signing?

Major book publishing firms plan and fund book signing tours for their authors, which often cost many thousands of dollars. But if you self-publish, or publish with a small firm, you can still do book signings—just at a lower cost.

It really all goes back into your marketing platform as an author. If you steadily grow your reader fan base and connect with them on a regular basis, then it’s entirely possible to get the word out on the cheap. Other expenses you might want to consider include a large promotional poster for your book (to prop up next to you at the signing table) and maybe some swag, a candy bowl, or other free stuff that lures people to you.

You’ll still have to do the work of connecting with potential bookstores and libraries to schedule a date for the event. But you have the upper hand in the fact that both outlets love authors. Plus, your visit brings them free advertising and possibly revenue.

I’d say it’s worth a test no matter what. Once you have your book published and you’ve established a decent amount of cred (meaning numbers in the hundreds on your social media platforms and at least ten favorable book reviews on Amazon) … then go for it. Everyone functions differently when it comes to promoting their work. Some authors will love meeting face-to-face with their fans … others, not so much.

But you won’t know which group you fall into till you try it. So go ahead … and let me know how it went, or whether you’re excited to try the approach.

To your book signing success!

mindy mchorse, author and copywriter



  1. Judy Broussard on

    I have written a children’s book which is under contract with a publisher. It was illustrated by my sister who is in charge of graphics and production at a local newspaper. Unfortunately, the publication appears to have stalled. I have done my headshot as requested, sent my text in word format and a mock up of the book twice, but nothing appears to be happening. I have made all the deadlines they have given, but I really expected more feedback on the progress. It has been a little more than a month. Am I expecting too much?

  2. Naseem Mariam on

    1. Do find out from your publishers what their normal, best and worst timelines from draft to publish are.
    2. Can they get you in touch with other successfully published authors in past 2 years.
    You can do your homework in this area. the publishers web site is sure to have listed the recent books they has published. You can search for those authors online, sure to have a web site. Subscribe to their enewletter.
    read a few of the enewsletters and compliment their articles, web site anything. THEN after giving …. (by joining their newsletter & giving +ve feedback) you could use “contact us” to find out their experience and timelines with the publisher
    3. Has a project manager been assigned for your book? Your book has a right to be assigned a project manager. To the publishers, each book is a “project”. Just check the contract: any project manager mentioned? As the publishers have signed a contract with you, did u meet with them on contract signing day? The person who signed on your contract is now answerable … only one query for now: “Who is the project manager for my book”
    4. Ask one query at a time; The next few queries addressed to the assigned project manager: whats your whatsapp number? I dont want to intrude on you in real time. Do reply at your convenient time in 24 hours (in whatsapp u will know whether u have been read 🙂
    5. In the meantime continue to write a few more books of same series … with same characters in new situations. Most publishers will dawdle over a one-time book. Their eyes pop out wide with amazement and wonder when u have a series.

    Hope these tips help.

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