How To Sign A Book – Research By Aurora Jean Alexander

Due to unexpected circumstances, I might be participating in a book signing some time early September, something I had never thought would ever happen.

Of course, being a woman first thing I called out was: “Oh my God, what am I going to wear?” As an author, the first thing I called out was: “Oh my God, what am I going to write?”

Until that moment I admit, the second question has bugged me far more than the first one, and since I am who I am, I decided to do some research on that topic. How to sign a book (when you’re the author, and you don’t want to let the reader down who bought your book).

As usually, Google provided me with several opportunities to work through many articles about that subject. Here are the most educational ones that I could find and that answered the questions I had:

Audrey Childers writes on the “Huffpost”:

As a newly published author, I had no idea how I should handle autographing my books at my first books signing. This is one of the ways that an author connects to the reader is by making the book signing a unique and enjoyable experience. You would think as an author of four books that I would have plenty of ideas. Book signings are rare face-to-face moments where you contact with your readers to help build a lasting relationship. This felt like a landmark moment in my life.

She provides us with a full list of tips and tricks, from the pen to the fan picture. The article is very helpful and also contains hints on what to write, which I had been looking for, after all, that’s what the research was for:

Health and happiness
All my best
In gratitude
To your health
Much appreciation
Warm wishes
Best regards
Onward your friend

The article written by Audrey Childers can be read here.


Debbie Young of the ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) writes a blog post with a few, a bit boring tips for author signings like ‘learn from other author’s events’, ‘make the most out of the situation’, practice your signature, make sure the signing table looks welcoming, and so on. In this article, I’m definitely missing the ‘what to write’ list. But judge for yourself:

ALLi Article about a book signing. Read it here.


Mary Robinette Kowal provides us with a blog post about four years old, in which she describes quite well what to do and what not to do on book signings. That goes from the ink of the pen to the advice to have three stock phrases ready to personalize a book. Although she does not suggest any. But her last point #10 is an enormously important subject I have never given a second thought. She writes:

Have a different signature for your legal signature. Your autograph will wind up on the internet on eBay. Having a different one for legal papers, checks, or credit cards reduces the chances of identity theft.

This is very important, and neither of us should forget about that!

I learned a lot from her article and would definitely recommend to read it, what can be done here.


One of the first and best articles about book signings was the one I liked most. It showed me quite well what I wanted to know. I found it on the ‘Authority Publishing’ website. It gave me tips and tricks and gave me, all in all, six different points in a list which were easily described, short and impressively written and contained a list of signature phrases as well.

All my best
In gratitude
To your health
Much appreciation
Warm wishes
Best regards
Your friend

Just what I wanted to know. The entire article can be read here.


As for me, reading these articles taught me a lot. Tips, tricks, hints, advice, I read what I can write, and I learned what to ask, what to take, to have fun, and where to sign. Knowing me, all this knowledge will be for nothing, I’ll be that nervous I am most likely not going to know how to spell my own name…


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Setting up your Amazon Author Page by Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin provides us with an article about setting up our Amazon Author Page. She throws in all of her knowledge, wisdom, and experience and helps us find our way to that part of Book Marketing. Thank you, Sally.

I began promoting authors and their books back in 2001 and then it was all about splashy book launches, press releases and getting local coverage. Indie authors had it tough in those days trying to break into the establishment and get the attention of national press, but could do very well locally.

It is very different today in many respects, but certainly you can still make a big splash in your own local area, especially if our books are relevant to the history of the area. Press releases and going door to door to established businesses such as bookshops, cafes, art galleries and holding book signings can certainly launch a book and possibly get the attention of a wider audience and the national press.

Six years ago I began promoting my own books (particularly Ebooks as I tend to still go local for my print books) and a handful of authors here on Smorgasbord, which over the next two years developed to become The Cafe and Bookstore. This celebrated three years of book promotions earlier in the year and there are between 150 and 175 active authors with new releases and reviews at any given time.

Taking my experience of the ups and downs of book marketing over the last 18 years I feel that if I can give a helping hand to other authors, it might help them navigate the marketing process a little more effectively. Especially when we have a global marketplace at our fingertips.

I am delighted that I am in a position to showcase authors here on my blog and on social media. And for me it is important to provide this FREE as I know how tough it was back when I started, and even more so now, to get noticed.

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Writing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Reputation As A Writer – Written By Derek Haines

Thank you for all your work and support to us writers, Derek. I think that is such an important article for each one of us.

Don’t advertise your writing mistakes

You might have written and published a perfect book. You could be a fantastic blogger. Your poetry may be astounding.

But you should always be on your guard for the most common writing mistakes.

We all make silly grammar, spelling and punctuation errors when we write. But a good writer will always correct a word or phrase with common mistakes before posting anything online.

You might not think about grammar rules, punctuation marks and complete sentences when you write an email, message or social media post. But people really do notice your mistakes.

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Reducing the Horrors of Book Marketing: An Interview with Sue Campbell

On Xina Marie Uhl’s blog I found this interview with Sue Campbell which might help us writer’s with our book marketing and the horror that comes with it. Thank you so much for publishing that interview, Xina.

Book marketing.

The very words make doom resonate through the universe like the implosion of a black hole. It sends perfectly sane writers running through the streets screaming and gibbering, while others huddle in the corner, under their desks, repeating in a zombie-like drone, “No, Lord, please, no.”

As someone who is getting ready to launch a zany romantic adventure called Lady Law and the Texas DeRangers, I’m familiar with both reactions.


~shifty eyes~

Seriously, though. Authors are well known for their aversion to marketing their own work. Most of us are much more familiar with and enthusiastic about the process of writing itself. But in today’s world of eight hundred gazillion books, you have to step up and promote yourself if you want anyone to read what you’ve worked so hard to create.

It was this realization that led me to learn more about setting up my author platform and launching my books into the universe. Tim Grahl, author of Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book, knows a thing or two about book marketing, having launched numerous bestsellers.

Enter Sue Campbell, author and Tim Grahl certified book launcher, who was kind enough to answer some of my questions.


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Pitch Perfect: Can You Sell Your Story in ONE Sentence? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with a blog post about pitches, writing with her wonderful talent as well as great humor, as usually. Thanks so much, Kristen!

The pitch is one of the most vital components of any kind of sales, book sales included. Now, I know a lot of writers either start having apoplexy at this moment or they mentally check out.

Sales has nothing to do with my story. I can just pay someone else to worry about sales.

Um, no. Sales has everything to do with our stories, and ultimately we’re responsible for success or failure. It’s okay, though. I’m going to walk y’all through this.

We actually sell all the time and don’t even realize it. Sales is built into our nature.

You like my dress? Thanks! It has POCKETS! I got it on sale over at Dress World.

I love my electric mower. Trick is to hit Home Depot on Labor Day. End of summer. Best deals.

We sell ALL THE TIME. The trick with book sales is simply learning how to sell with intention and skill.

Plain truth is that, if we cannot convince someone our book is worth forgoing binge-watching Netflix, meeting the girls for mani-pedis, killing zombies on X-Box or watching funny cat videos? Then we won’t make it very far as authors.

The pitch is a key component of survival in, well…everything. Have a crush? Want that date? The pitch better be good. Why should he/she go out with you and not someone else?

Car companies pitch us with luxury, comfort, safety. Insurance companies pitch us on lowest rates or that they’ll take care of us when we’re in a jam.

Cosmetic companies pitch long lashes, smooth skin, full lips, and grocery stores pitch value, freshness, and time-saving additions like ordering on-line.

As writers, our pitch should have a lot in common with all other successful pitches. Notice I used the word should. The pitch that goes the distance has a very clear structure. Those who believe they’re the exception or cut corners do so at their own risk.

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…honesty in memoir-writing… a double-edged sword… – Written By Seumas Gallacher

I found this post on Master Seumas’ blog. He talks about writing his memoir and shares some of his experience with us. Thank you very much for your honesty, Seumas!

…as a writer, I love paradox… the creative balance… peak and trough… princes and paupers… sweet and sour… I shamelessly strive for emotive expression in my novels… breathing feelings into what happens to my characters… Lawd knows, they cause me enough angst when I write about them… therefore, it should have come as no surprise to me when I embarked on the ambitious project of writing my own biography… the twin imposters of delight and melancholy currently visit with great regularity as the chapters of my life unfold on my laptop… from the outset, I decided it would not be an ego trip, cataloguing whatever achievements may have been my lot, but to attempt to balance the tome with as much gut honesty as I can muster… that’s where the pain resides… it has been remarkable how the distance of time has removed some of the jagged edges of some events I’d rather not have had happen… and equally to recognise that success is also a relative concept, which lessens with the passage of the years …

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Something to think about – Dodgy Book Promotion sites – The only numbers that are accurate are their prices by Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin, writer, and blogger, warns us about dodgy book promotion sites. We all should be very careful. Thank you very much for all your work, Sally!

Dodgy Book Promotion sites – The only numbers that are accurate are their prices.

First let me say that I am fully aware that there are established book marketing websites with testimonials as to their effectiveness. Prices will range depending on campaign and Amazon is probably one of the largest of the sites to offer a number of options.

But then there are the dodgy ones who have something phishy about their numbers.

But I am talking about the chancers who send you an email or approach you on social media stating that they can put your book in front of 200,000 potential readers and sell more of your books.

This happened to me the other day when and I was invited to connect with a company offering to promote my books. Before accepting I checked their listing and went to the website on their account. There were about 10 covers on books on their front page, a small menu icon on the left hand side (do dislike that.. give me a visible list so I don’t have to play games to find out what I want.) This offered a number of different categorie, but offered no information on services offered.

In the heading it stated the same promise that they could put my books in front of 200,000 potential readers and for further information to email them directly.. In other words not giving any information about services offered or a breakdown of costs. (POV)… and getting your return email address into the bargain.