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10 Book Signing Ideas

I’d admit, this is a rather out of place topic for a decorating blog but considering it does tie-in to decorating as it’s about my own signing last week for Decorate at Liberty, I thought I’d share some ideas. I’m no book signing expert but I know lots of you who will soon author books and some have already sent me emails asking how signings work so I thought I’d lend some friendly advice based on my signing. Whether you are a new author or an old pro, these tips may spark some ideas for you — I didn’t read up on how to sign books 101 or anything… but I went with my gut instinct as I was clueless about how signings worked, and well, everything went well thanks to Liberty, my dear friends Sania and Leslie and so many others who are mentioned and linked below.

My Book

1. Place a stack of your business cards on the signing table so your new friends can take one home with them and so they can stay in touch. Mine were designed by my dear friend Tara Hogan from INK + WIT (see image below). She did a beautiful job and they are letterpressed with gorgeous deep impressions so everyone loved the feel of them (as do I!). They are also double-sided which makes them quite pretty I think.

2. Define your “signing table” with a sign, pretty things hanging above it, flowers, things that make your signing table feel cozy. It also will photograph nicely if you put some thought into it. Also make sure the area has good lighting!

3. If you have access to one, sit on a bench instead of a chair. That way, your friends can sit with you for photos and it’s nice because you are shown seated side-by-side vs. one hunching down over the other for a photograph which can be awkward. Plus it’s easier to have photos together and you don’t have to keep standing up for pictures either as I imagine after the 100th photo you could be quite exhausted!

badges for Liberty event

4. Make sure you keep bottled water by your side at all times. You wouldn’t believe how much water you’ll need to keep your voice — you talk to so many people!

5. Have at least a few friends OR a few friends and one professional photographer, on hand to shoot the event. Tell them in advance what you want, unless of course they know what you want as most friends instinctively can figure it out. It’s a big deal to sign a copy of your book for fans. You want to have photos to remember the occasion by for years to come. My friend, Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon, is a professional photographer who flew out from Seattle to shoot the event. My husband was also there shooting, along with Leslie’s husband Dan, Julie Cove, and Sania’s husband Mark. Between them all we got some nice photographs. You won’t have a moment free to take photos yourself, trust me, so don’t even think you can swing it. :)

6. Talk with everyone as they approach your table, don’t quickly sign and shuffle them off. It may be the way for rock stars, but those of us who are writing books and have a connection to our readers will want to reach out and know them better. Speak warmly and show your appreciation. Spend a few minutes with each person — even if your queue is long, it’s important that everyone feels welcome. A word of caution though: don’t spend too much time or you won’t get to sign all of the books! And don’t give more time to some over others, it can make others feel left out.

Business cards

7. Bring name tags and ask everyone to put their name on them and their twitter handle/blog/website, etc. It’s a great way for them to network at your event but also great for you — you don’t have to worry about getting the spelling wrong as you are signing books! The name tags we used were designed by Wolfie and the Sneak (see above images). Renee Garner did a wonderful job, everyone loved them!

8. Try to write a special message in each book that you sign. “To Leslie xo, Holly Becker” is nice, but I wanted to go the distance so I wrote a sentence or two in each copy that I signed – a different message in each book. I felt like nowadays, with so many people reading online that having an actual book that is signed and dedicated to you makes books feel different, special, and the memories that you attach to that book through the kind words of the author will surely be remembered each time the book is opened. That means something.

9. Use a black smudge-proof unscented sharpie that drys instantly! It’s the best. Don’t use a ballpoint pen, a pen that smells up the entire room (and makes you high in the process!) or worse, smears all over the place and gets on your clothes and marks up the facing page in their book.

and finally

10. Why not bring a book for THEM to sign? That is what is shown in the top photo of this post laying on my work table. I never in my life heard of this idea but I wanted to do it ever since I first imagined signing books. Leslie bought a fantastic softcover notebook for me that I ended up using for this purpose. That way, as I signed a copy of my book for my guest, they would in return sign (and often write sweet thoughts to me) in my “guest” book on my signing table. I remember that same evening, in my hotel room, sitting in bed on cloud nine as I flipped through each page reading each and every note. I vow to bring my book to each place that I roam on my book tour (and since it’s lightweight and softcover, I can) with the goal to fill each page with notes from my friends from all over. I’ll cherish it forever, that’s for sure.

Oh! And something I didn’t do — freshen up now and then — a dab of lipstick or gloss can make a world of difference in photographs so don’t forget to take mini breaks. :) I know, it seems shallow to say that but it is true! :)

Have you ever done a signing before? Do you have tips to share? If you have attended signings in the past (this was the first I’ve attended and it was my own, ha ha!) do you have any thoughts on how an author can make those at their event feel comfortable and appreciated? I think other authors reading this may find your tips helpful so please comment if you’d like to share your thoughts.

By the way, Liberty saved some signed copies from the event if you’d like one. They are offering free shipping within the UK and are very limited so click here if you’d like one. :)

(image: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 20, 2011

Quick Hello From The Road

Hello my friends! I am blogging from my hotel room, I am getting ready for part two of my book launch which will be tonight at Liberty (yes, again!), April 14th at 5pm and 7:30pm in the Heritage Room on the 3rd floor. I’ll be giving two talks and signing books and it will be quite intimate so we can have time to chat afterwards as well.

Me at Liberty!!!!

Last night was a huge success, it was so packed at the launch party — we even had security in the room — which cracked me up to have bouncers at my book launch. That made me feel famous for the night for sure. I guess we all need our moment of fame – ha ha! I met some amazing people and I’ll be sure to show you how we styling the table along with some ideas from lovely Sania Pell and Leslie Shewring, so stay tuned for when I’m back!

If you are around this evening (Thursday, April 14th) and want to visit Liberty to hang out with me again, or for the first time, please do. I know they said there is a guest list but please, come, I’d love to meet you and I will personally make sure you can be in the room with me because I don’t want to miss meeting anyone and certainly don’t want you to be turned away.

Liberty was amazing last night, I am so lucky and happy that I had a book launch party there and can’t wait until round two in just a few hours. I’m off to get ready now… but many hugs to you all and if you are around tonight, please drop by.

Oh and get this…. the FAB Amy Butler will be there tonight as well, she’s just outside of the Heritage Room in the fabrics area talking about textiles. Since her home and quotes are in Decorate, I’m super excited to see her and hang out. I’ve never met Amy in person so I’m going to be shaky-knees for sure!

Bye everyone!!! xoox Holly

The photo was taken by the lovely Liberty peeps – thanks guys!

(image: liberty london)


Posted in Books + Magazines on April 14, 2011

Time To Go To London To Launch My Book!

Well my dear readers and friends, it’s time for me to hop on the plane and go to London for my official book launch party + signing on Wednesday, April 13th at Liberty London. I’m so excited that I’m about to burst — and I promise photos and a recap! I can hardly believe this is really about to happen and I’m very, very excited about it. Here is my schedule for the week in case you’re interested. I’ll be tweeting from the road all week so please follow me on Twitter if you’d like to follow along. :)


Today I’ll arrive in London and then work with Sania Pell and Leslie Shewring to run through our demo together and do a bit of crafting. Can’t wait to be with Sania + Leslie again — such dear, sweet ladies!

Tuesday: I’ll be tied up at appointments all day, including a meet up over at Liberty to give merchandising our display that they’ll need to install before Wednesday. Fun! On Tuesday evening, a dinner with friends.

Wednesday: I’ll meet Leslie and Sania and we’ll pick all of the flowers that we need for our demo from the gorgeous Liberty flower shop on the first floor. Then it’s time to prepare the table for our demo and do the flower arrangements. At 4pm I have a private press event followed by a video that Liberty will shoot of me in their store. After that, I will do a customer talk at 6:00 to a private group as well. Then at 6:30 in the new Liberty Dining Room on the 3rd floor I will be there with Sania, Leslie and anyone who would like to join us to present a 20 minute styling demonstration along with some decorating tips. After the demo, there will be a signing and my co-author Jo Copestick will be there as well along with a mix + mingle until the store closes! Come one, come all! Lots of bloggers will be there so I’m very excited to meet many of my colleagues.

Thursday: I will return to Liberty again since they decided to add a day to my schedule to accommodate more of their customers and friends of decor8, so at 5:30 pm and at 7:00 pm I’ll do two more talks and signings (but no styling demo) so you’re welcome to attend either event but you’ll need to email my publicist, Liz Somers, to get on the guest list for Thursday (liz [dot] somers [at] aurumpress [dot] co [dot] uk). Come if you can!

On Friday, well… I can’t tell you much about Friday yet but I’ll fill you in on Twitter – fun stuff for sure! And on Saturday I’ll be in Notting Hill to shop and then returning back home in the evening. A very full week.

If you are coming to the Liberty launch party + demo on Wednesday or to the special talks at Liberty on Thursday, I can’t wait to meet you and share a special evening with you and so many other lovely Decorate contributors who will be there including photographer Debi Treloar. I can’t wait to see Virginia Armstrong, Emily Chalmers, Debi Treloar, Selina Lake, Abigail Ahearn, Yvonne from Yvestown and some others who contributed to Decorate. It will be a memorable occasion for sure. See you at Liberty!

Book fan page – Links to reviews, event dates, etc. I’ll be going on a mini US tour in July to Boston, New York, Philly, Atlanta, Chicago (may

Order on

Book Depository, Anthropologie (online and now in stores nationwide and in the UK like Selfridges), Barnes + Noble online, Chronicle.

The book just released in the UK on March 25 but Anthropologie has an exclusive on it so only they can sell it in advance of it’s US release date on April 20. That means you can go to your nearest Anthro store and pick up a copy now in the US and in the UK. After April 20th you can find it in stores in the states and online where books are sold.

I can’t wait to see you at Liberty on Wednesday and/or Thursday — and if you cannot make it, I’ll be in the states in July so perhaps I’ll be able to meet you then because I’d love that. This is a very exciting time in my life, I am thrilled, scared, excited, emotional (very emotional) and I’m really savoring each moment of this. We all have those moments in life, whether it is launching a book, having a baby, buying a home, getting married… they are all very big events so you must be able to relate to the emotions I’m feeling right now – it’s a crazy mix for sure. I can’t wait to be “in the moment” this week and to meet so many who have been such an inspiration to me — and of course, I will share lots of great photos the moment I return. Enjoy your week… I’ll catch up with you very soon again.

xo, Holly

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines, travel on April 11, 2011

Tucked In: Book By Meredith Gaston

I received the most beautiful little package on my door step yesterday from the Kindergallery. It’s a darling book called Tucked In written by Meredith Gaston who is an Illustrator/writer, and published by Penguin Books. It even comes with it’s own bookmark “tucked” into the jacket of the book. Brilliant! Would you like to see a glimpse? This should come with a warning though: scroll down and die of the cuteness, which will result in purchasing the book. But that’s okay, Meredith would like that and someone with her talent should be supported so she can keep making more books that we can cuddle in our beds at night with a cup of chamomile tea with honey in hand….

Tucked In

Tucked In

Tucked In

Tucked In

Tucked In

Tucked In

About the book, because it says it all so nicely, “Bed needn’t be a place just for sleeping. Whether you are young or old, nimble or wobbly, tucked into bed on the doctor’s orders or on your very own whim, you can use your time in bed to explore your creativity and heal your soul. Meredith Gaston, artist and passionate lover of all things bed, encourages us to discover that our tucked-in time can be as creative as it is restorative, enriching our days and bringing joy to our lives. We learn how to analyse our dreams and find out what our sleeping positions reveal about our personalities, as well as creating our own tucked-in haiku poetry, comfort foods and dream catchers. Simply snuggle back, relax, and be guided through a world of tea cup cosies, shadow puppets, favourite bed socks and eclectic sleepy facts. The perfect gift for the bedbound or balm for the world-weary, Tucked In is sure to uplift, soothe and inspire.”

This book promises all that it says it will – and more… The illustrations made my heart leap and I’ve referred to it a number of times already in the past 24 hours since receiving it — it’s so darling and such a pleasure to read as the text is delightful, but the color and whimsical illustrations are the cutest! I want to buy several copies to give to friends as I know it would be a hit. I love the tips as well because I think it’s important to have bedtime rituals and to sleep well because without restful sleep it’s hard to wake up with fresh ideas and a good spirit. Having a good spirit invites good things to happen to us – it attracts the right opportunities and the right people our way, so it is only smart to sleep well and dream sweet. In fact, this is something that my husband has said to me every night since 1998 since we were dating, in German the expression is, “Gute Nacht, schlaf schön und träum süß” or “Good night, sleep well and dream sweet.”

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 09, 2011


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