Monday, March 23, 2009

How to Get a Book Signing in a Major Bookstore

It's been a busy day in making-money-with-photography land. I finally got to arranging for my first book signing. I called the Rancho Mirage, CA Barnes and Nobel and asked if they could host a signing for my two books, 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco and 101 Quick and Easy Secrets to Create Winning Photographs. Since I'm teaching a class at UCR in photography in May and need as many students as I can get, I told the Costumer Relations Manager (CRM) at the store about it.

Here's the email I sent him:

Hi Dan,

Thanks for talking with me this afternoon about book signings for my two books, "50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco, " which came out in January and "101 Quick and Easy Secrets to Create Winning Photographs," which comes out April 9th.

The "Quick and Easy" book is the first of a series of books.

I'd like to have both books available for purchase at a book signing that, if possible, takes place in late April. I can do a photography seminar if you want, or just counsel people about their cameras.

I'll be teaching a photography class at UCR that starts in May. The class is listed at

I used to write for the Desert Sun and know an editor there who I have spoken to regarding a story about the book series, my class and the book signing.

The article will be published before the book signing.

I'd like to get the books signings in before the class starts.

Thanks for looking into this.

Best regards,

Matt Bamberg

It's much easier to get a book signing for a book with an ISBN number, or a book published by a major publisher. Sometimes they do self-published books, but my guess is that they only do them if they're selling well elsewhere.

Now, book signings aren't the best way to sell a lot of books, but they can help. Of course, it helps to be famous (say, like Joan Rivers). They can be somewhat successful if you have an online presence (so people can find you on the Internet and buy your book when they hear about it) and, if you can get the local press to back you up (write stories about you or have you on a local TV/radio show).

Please comment on any experiences you've had at book signings, whether you've been to one or have had one. Do you think you can sell hundreds of books this way?