My Publishing Journey: Book Signing

IMG_1578On Saturday, September 5th I had my inaugural solo bookstore book signing experience. The location was Chapters in the New Fairview Mall in St. Catharines, Canada. (For those of you unfamiliar with the area, St. Catharines is in the Niagara Falls area.) The manager of the store, Tammy Powles, and her staff were beyond friendly, and they contributed to making my day a wonderful experience.

Fortunately, I came prepared, thanks to advice given to me by fellow author members of Sisters in Crime Guppies. (Thank you Guppies!) Here were their top five tips:

  1. Dress nicely, but not over-the-top fancy. You want to be comfortable, and appear accessible without looking sloppy. (I wore a black skirt, black camisole, and a white and black “flouncy thing.”)
  2. Wear comfortable shoes. (I wore nice, flat sandals, given it was in the mid 80s outside.)
  3. Have handouts. (I had bookmarks and postcards, which I had pre-ordered from
  4. Don’t just sit at the desk waiting for people to approach you. Get up and mingle without being aggressive. (I was seated near the Bestsellers. If I saw someone pick up a mystery, I would approach them. If they were into the latest political non-fiction, not so much!)
  5. Be yourself. People can spot if you’re being fake. (I don’t know how to be anyone else. But it’s great advice, whether we’re at a book signing or at a brunch where we hardly know a soul.)

At the end of the day, I sold a few books, left some signed copies behind for future sales, handed out a bunch of bookmarks and postcards, had four people sign up for my newsletter (I kept forgetting to tell folks about it), and spoke to some really amazing people.

My next bookstore signing will be on Saturday, September 26th at Chapters, Square One, Mississauga. If you’re in the area, please stop by between 1 and 4 p.m. and say hi. I’d love to meet you.

The Hanged Man’s Noose is now available at all the usual suspects, including

8 responses to “My Publishing Journey: Book Signing

  1. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thank you Melissa. I am planning an author meet and greet/signing with Francis at The Next Chapter for sometime mid November. I will post on my upcoming events when we have sorted it out. The Next Chapter will also be selling signed copies of The Hanged Man’s Noose within the next week!

  2. Glad to hear it went well for you Judy! It sounds like the advice from your group paid off.
    I’m really enjoying your book and looking forward to any events coming up in our area.

  3. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Well, not a pro, exactly, but I’m learning to get more comfortable. As a writer, it’s not my nature to “sell” myself!

  4. Judy, you are becoming a real pro at this. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

  5. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Val! I love the dog idea, though this bookstore would never allow it. Outdoor venues would, I suppose. I am currently without a dog (our beautiful Golden Retriever, Copper, died Dec. 26, 2014 at almost 13 — I miss him every single day). I am contemplating getting another Golden but we have just moved, not sure it is ideal spot for a Golden. But they are such great dogs. Copper was my third Golden and as a kid I had a Golden mix.

  6. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Sheri! I am doing another one on Sept. 26th. We’ll see how it goes!

  7. eightpawswriting

    Sounds like you did everything perfectly! Wish I lived closer. I have found even if you only sell a couple books, you never know who will be the person who connects to your story and will pass the word. Enjoy each event-

  8. Great tips! I found also that if you bring a cute dog, it will attract people! 😉 I do this sometimes with my Corgi Capers books, though it does add some other things to worry about.

    Congrats on your signing!

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