Friday, January 27, 2017

Jordan J. Scavone's Tips for a MightE Signing Event

My first book signing wasn’t great. I’m not quite sure when how to do a successful signing really happened. A big part of me thought that just having a signing meant I was going to sell books. This was obviously not the situation, I sat for five to six hours and sold… eight books maybe? With each signing I learned a little bit more, trial and error in the ways I would interact with people, the decision to sit or stand, little things like that. After thirteen Barnes and Noble signings, four convention signings, and a few restaurant signings (all in one-year) I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve learned what works for me.

1.  Know Your Book
It seems obvious, but if you can’t tell people about your book quickly, then the odds are not in your favor in selling them a book. Almost everyone who approaches me hears almost identical mini-pitches.

“My book is about a four-year-old girl with social anxiety starting school. In order to overcome her fear of going to school, she becomes a superhero.”

Many people who pick up a copy of my book show they're impressed by my quick, simple, yet catching pitch.

2.  Know Who You Are
Some people can talk, some people cannot. My background comes as a competitive speaker, I’m lucky enough to be trained to speak to people. This give me a high level of confidence when it comes to talking to any, and all people. If talking isn’t your strong suit, don’t force conversation. If talking is one of your strong suits, use it, keep a keen eye on people as they pass by. Watch for lingering glances at your table, utilize eye contact, and don’t be afraid to invite people to your table.

3.  Know Your Audience
These points seem obvious, but, having a firm idea of who you are going to your signing event to sell to it key. If you write picture books (as I do) then you have a wide range of audiences. Kids, are the most obvious. If you can get a child interest in your book, then the child will get their parents into your book. When a little one comes to my table I start speaking them, shift my attention to the parent, then finish my pitch/conversation on the child. Kids also want to handle the book, I let them know that they can look at the book, I let them hold the book, and I encourage them to talk and ask questions.

4.  Be You
You wrote a book, and you are doing an event. That’s awesome, remember that. Even if you sell one book. That one book can change the direction of the new owner’s life. At one of my last signings of 2016 I told a seven-year-old aspiring author that “I’d only sign her book, if she would sign one for me at one of her signings one day.” I wrote that in her book, and she left with one of the biggest smiles I had ever seen. Remember that you are there to inspire.

 Jordan J. Scavone’s received his M.A. in Children’s Literature from Eastern Michigan University in April of 2016, his debut superhero children’s book Might-E released in December of 2015, and in June of 2016 he married his best friend. It was a good calendar year. Learn more at and Tweet at Jordan @RealJScavone using #BeMightE.

Coming up next on the Mitten blog: It's time for another Writer's Spotlight. Who will it be?


  1. Thanks for the encouragement, Jordan. Remember to support each other at these events when you can. Once at a particularly lonely signing, a fellow SCBWI member came by and she stayed with me for an hour just chatting and helping me pass the time and talk to shoppers. I've never forgotten it.

    1. Indeed! Any friendly face is a great addition to a signing!

  2. Jordan, nice to see you here! Thanks for your sales tips :)

    1. Thanks for checking it out Wendy! Hope all is well!

  3. Book signings are hard, but these tips are spot on. Thanks, Jordan!

  4. Thanks for the great tips. And I agree that you do have to know yourself. I'm pretty shy so this public marketing would be a challenge for me. And we do need to support each other by coming to our book launches and signings.

  5. Thanks for sharing your tips. Great advice.