Martha Frantz
Popping Your Book-Signing Cherry: A First Timer’s Guide


It’s been over a week since I returned from Book Bonanza, and the hangover is real. If you are new to the book world and signing events, it can be overwhelming. Thinking back, it would have been great to have some tips to mentally prepare and be ready for what was to come, so here are the tips I wish I had been told.

Let’s get started!


How do I even begin the process of getting organized?

bbsqAttending your first signing event can be very stressful. There are some areas you simply cannot control, but there are quite a few others you can. Here are the key areas you should focus on to make sure you have the best overall experience:

  • Know who your unicorn authors are. You will want to make sure you get to them early. You will also want to check to see if they are ticketed. If they are, you’ll need to secure a band that has a number range on it. Once your range comes up, you can get in line.
  • If you have pre-orders, make sure you prioritize around these. Part of the stress is worrying about getting all of your books.
  • Mark your books with post-it notes with your name. This will give you more quality time with your favorite authors, as they will already have the spelling of your name.
  • Check the signing rules to see how many books you are allowed to bring to have signed.
  • Bring a cart. Your books will get heavy really fast.
  • Dress for comfort. You will be standing for hours, so make sure you’re wearing good shoes and comfortable clothes.
  • Bring a portable phone charger. You do not want to risk your phone dying, as you will want photos with your favorite authors.

Connect with other attendees

The first thing you should do after purchasing a ticket to an event is join the event page. You can find the signing events on Facebook, Instagram, and through alerts and news by email. Joining the groups is key to knowing what is going on. This will also give you the opportunity to meet other booklovers attending.

Plan a meetup. Have dinner or drinks to get acquainted. Trust me, there is also plenty of time spent waiting in line for you to strike up conversations with fellow readers. You are all there for the same purpose. Be prepared to make lifelong friendships and memories. If you follow your favorite authors, you may also find that they have separate meetups going on throughout the event. Trust me, you will not be alone.

Bring snacks and deodorant

Why are snacks, water, and deodorant important?

Now I know this sounds crazy, but I am serious! BRING DEODORANT. You will be hot and sweaty, and you’ll thank me later. Just remember, you are spending hours running around and waiting to see your favorite authors. During this time you are hauling books and suffering from either heat or nerves or, more than likely, both.

Snacks and water are also key. You will get hungry and will most likely feel like you cannot take a break. Waiting in line is the perfect time for a quick snack and sip of water to get you through. You have to keep your energy up so you can make the most of your experience.

RELAX and enjoy the ride

How is it possible to relax amongst all the chaos?

For real, RELAX! It may seem impossible initially that your book signing will be stress free, but it really can be. If you organize, follow the event information, and mentally prepare, you will do amazing. Just know that the authors are also nervous and excited to meet you. We are all there for the same reason. You will rock your first event. Just keep in mind, the better you plan and organize, the better experience you will have. And you will be a pro at these events in no time.


About the Contributor

Martha is an analyst by day and an avid reader and social media specialist by night. Her love of reading started at an early age. She is a huge supporter of authors, the ID Channel, and Netflix. When she is not interacting in reader groups, you will find her with her kids at youth sports, studying, or working on her next research project.

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