To compete in the current book market, where millions of  books are published each year, you have to find interesting new ways to get your books in front of potential readers.

book signing opportunities

Same old same old

Today, Janet Shawgo, award winning author of the Look for Me series, shares her experience with setting up book signings at wine bars—and how the right creative approach can help spread the word about your books.

Also, as an added advantage, your books will have more focused attention from potential readers. It is a great one-two promotional punch!

Setting Up Book Signings in Unique Places Other than Bookstores

12924511_1181270135225159_5230181094765279286_nBookstore managers don’t always return calls or emails, dates may not be available, or dates may be reserved six months in advance.

But who says that you can only hold book signings in a bookstores?  

If you can get the okay to set up a table with books, you can have a book signing wherever that may be. (Like a wine bar.) I know of one very successful western fiction author who has his best signings (read as sells more books) in grocery stores!

Another author whose romance novels have a natural healer as a protagonist holds some of her most successful signings in food co-ops and natural supplement stores. Yet another author holds her signings at outdoor equipment stores for her eco-mystery series.

The possibilities are endless. 

The Point is to Engage Readers – Janet says:

These days, you need to find something unique to get your books to new readers. But getting yourself in front of readers can be frightening. I get it! Making your book signing into an event where you can have more interaction than just signing books helps ease the awkwardness.”

“Think of what fits with the theme or genre of your book. If you have a cozy mystery about food, find a local restaurant. If you write romance, a little wining and dining might go a long way.”

12998493_1187296194622553_2292896810247946110_nJanet Shawgo shares info about her Wine Bar Book Signings

“In April, another Dallas-area author, Michelle Renee, and I are hosting a book signing at a wine bar in the Bishop Arts district. We contacted the owner to ask if we could set up a table and sell our books on a slow weeknight. In return, we will purchase a few bottles of wine (white, red, and rose). We’ll hand out tickets to people, which entitles them to a glass on us.”

“I’ve had huge success with signings at wine bars. At another signing, I sold a good number of books, people enjoyed the glass of wine, and the wine bar had one of its best nights and welcomed me back to hold another signing.”

How to Make the Most of Your Book Signing – More Info from Janet Shawgo, award winning author of the WAIT FOR ME series

“To make sure people get to your book signing, be sure to spread the word! We’re on social media, sharing information about our wine bar book signing, but we’re also telling people at work, as well as family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask the place that is hosting you to post on social media about the event, too. Targeted Facebook ads to locals might also help spread the word.”

“At the signing itself, we have a signup sheet for our newsletters to capture emails, and we also choose two or three people from it for door prizes at the end of the evening.”

1262515_10153217559070403_1589138071_o“Be sure that your table is appealing and inviting. Readers love free items, so we have pens, bookmarks, candy, magnets, and key chains. Items that have information about our books on them keep us in readers’ minds.”


Thank you, Janet Shawgo, for the sharing your great idea with other Chanticleer authors!

Kiffer Brown asks: Where do your books’ targeted readers hang out? 

  • kitchen stores?
  • gardening centers?
  • yarn shops?
  • trivia nights at pubs?
  • comic book stores?
  • boat supply stores?
  • pet stores?
  • coffee shops?
  • outdoor recreation suppliers?


The possibilities are endless!

Expand your readership—make your list of author/book signing opportunities today! 

Click on the links to read Chanticleer’s reviews of Janet Shawgo’s award winning books: Look For Me, Wait For Me, and  Find Me Again