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Traci Sanders: On Indie Publishing

Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children's, romance, and nonfiction guides. Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.


TIP 264: How to draw a crowd at a book signing

 *The following tip, and many other marketing tips, can be found in Beyond The Book: Tips on publishing, marketing, and networking to build your brand, now available in digital and paperback format.

Beyond The Book

Once you’re at a book event, especially one that includes a multitude of other authors, how do you draw attention to your books?

One easy way to pull people to your table is to have a slideshow playing in the background. Many people are visual and respond to videos and pictures more than writing. So, while it’s great to post reviews or testimonials somewhere on your table, it’s also a good idea to either have a collage of photos (preferably one of you with some of your fans who are holding your books), or a slide show of events you’ve participated in.

If this is your first book event, you can always show images of your characters, setting, or other elements of your book, in a slide show. This gives potential readers an immediate visual of your characters, and the setting of the story. All these things set the tone for the book.

Here are a few other things you can do to draw some attention to your table: Stand to greet guests, and pass out book swag. Play music in the background, to set the tone in the room, or at least at your table. But, make sure it doesn’t overpower your voice. Have huge banners in front of, or on the wall behind, your table. Have a themed centerpiece on your table – something unique to draw interest.

If the event venue won’t allow a big slideshow screen, or you don’t have access to one, set up your laptop on the table, with a PowerPoint playing. Make sure it has sound. Essentially, it’s a mini slide show. Have several supporters, dressed casually, but professionally, around you for social proof. Not just one person, because you might have the urge to sit and chat with that person, and potential customers might feel as if they are intruding on your conversation.

Create a special hashtag for your books/event, print it out on a bright sheet of paper, and display it on the table. You might be surprised who inputs that hashtag into his or her phone and tweets about your event or books. Use nice, sturdy display stands to exhibit your books professionally, rather than simply laying them on the table. Raffles and giveaways work well to draw a crowd. Enlist a team of helpers to circulate the room and pass out raffle tickets or teaser cards (or to simply talk up your books) to visitors in the room, while you stay at your table to greet visitors and potential customers.

If you are the only author there, you can have those helpers visit local retails shops or restaurants to do the same, to draw customers in. Many authors think their only job is to show up, talk to customers, and sign books at an event. But people these days are busy and on the move. Sometimes, we must go to them, rather than waiting for them to come to us. Once we get them, we have to make sure they are enthralled enough by our presentation and personality to buy our books. A little extra effort can pay off in a big way at a book event.

 I’ve decided to give away two prizes during this tour:

*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish– Volume I

*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book –Volume II

To enter, all you have to do is email me a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour. I will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.

Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to


  1. Thanks again, Ava, for hosting me on your blog! I appreciate the support!


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