The Bookless Book Signing: e-Book Book Signing?

I’ve been giving a great deal of thought lately to e-publishing books, in particular my next book. Yesterday, it occurred to me that I wouldn’t have a book in hand to put into the hands of others. Duh, right? Thank you, Captain Obvious!

The Emperor’s New Book

The reason I bring this point to your attention is that having a physical book is essential when it comes to the important author event known as the book signing. If you intend for the word to get out about your book, you’re going to need to do at least a few book signings. That is unless you’re already a big time author with your own cult of followers, and you have no desire to add to them.

“But my book is listed on all the right sites,” you argue. “And I’ve talked my book up in the best chat rooms.”

Really? And how many books have you sold that way?

Despite the fact that there are more people with e-readers than ever before, and a hundred of sites encouraging you to e-publish your book, what are your chances of finding an audience? Even well-known fantasy writers have trouble selling a new book under a new penname (before leaking the secret), and that’s with an editor, publisher, physical books, distribution and a network of contacts. What chance have you and your little e-book got against that machine?

In my own experience, I have sold far more books at book signings than through the big A or B online stores, even though my book is available in paperback, hard cover, and electronic versions (Kindle and Nook). In fact I don’t know of any sales of my book in electronic format to date, despite lowering the price to make it more attractive to gun-shy readers afraid to take a chance on a new author. It’s now at a very reasonable price and yet, no takers.

What if you lower the price to FREE? How may people will read it then? After all, everyone knows the adage, “you get what you pay for,” and something given away can’t be worth much. So you try to raise the price a little. But how much? How much is too much? Shouldn’t people be willing to lay down a few bucks (or cents even) for such an amazing work? Heck, all your relatives and friends loved it! (These are the depths of insanity new independent authors are forced into when they try to get their work out to the world.) But I digress…

You want to give your book every chance you can, because to a certain extent, when you’re an unknown, it does come down to chance. This is why I published in all the formats I did. At the time, I thought I might actually sell more e-books than physical books. Wrong!  And I never once sold an e-book at a book signing!

So…How do you have a book signing without a physical book?

This is NOT a rhetorical question!  I want to know if it’s possible!
Is there such a thing as a virtual book signing for e-books that someone will actually attend and “walk away” with a copy of your book and hopefully something more. (People attend book signings to get something more than a book with your signature on it, believe it or not.) You’ll need to connect with the attending readers and give them something they can only get from you-something to carry around in their hearts or their heads.

Let me hear from you!

Comment below or send me your thoughts and genius insights into how you would hold a book signing for an e-book. Do you know of a site that already provides a way to do this? Do you want to collaborate on a project to create such a site? Is there a way to have a book signing at a brick and mortar bookstore for an e-book? Think outside of the box. Give it your best shot, and contact me. Please.


HEY! I just thought of something last minute: I’ll give 1 or 2 copies (paperback, signed if you like) of my fantasy novel, With a Jester of Kindness to the person(s) who responds with the best ideas (most feasible and most creative-yet workable, as judged by me)!


Thank you!

OW Original


7 thoughts on “The Bookless Book Signing: e-Book Book Signing?

  1. Boss –
    I’m not sure, but I think something might be worked out in a product like GoToMeeting or something similar.

    After the e-book signing, could also (snail) mail attendees a special frame-able card/mini-poster with an image of the book cover at top and an area below for the author to make a personalized message and sign. Possibly an author’s picture too. (The personalized message could be requested/entered by the recipient during the session, and/or taken from the author’s notes of the signing, etc.)

    What do you think?

  2. That’s not bad, Andy, but you know you don’t qualify for the giveaway, right?
    At any rate, put that on your things-to-research/figure-out list. We’ll discuss your findings at the next corporate human-cyborg interface.

  3. I’m in the same situation you are — looking for the best option for holding a virtual book signing. If you’d like to email and open a chat, or if you’ve found a solution you’re willing to share, that’s be wonderful. So far, I’m looking at either using a video session where people call or video in (i.e., Apple FaceTime or something like that), and see me personalize a hard copy of the book, then mail it to them; OR, do the same with a faceplate of the book I can scan and they can print on a label to place in on the inside book cover or where-ever…. Thoughts?Thank you

  4. Dani,
    I tried to contact you using the email you provided, but my evil mail daemon told me it was no good. I had hoped for more responses, but seeing as you are the only one thus far, you are the winner of the free book contest. If you would like to receive the book, please provide me with a proper email and I’ll contact you for details and an update on my findings so far – related to hosting a bookless e-book signing online.
    For others out there, who would like to chime in on this topic, please do. I am still willing to continue the contest for a while longer.

  5. No ideas on the book signing thing, but since I, like many others, am frequently on the lookout for new authors, I pick up free promotion fantasy on Amazon a lot. (And yes, I have read some real dogs that way … LOL.) I think in some ways you’re not giving readers as much credit as you should. Yes, there are some that are stuck on “big names”; but a lot of us are just looking for new angles and new voices. Of course, I have to admit, I’ve never quite caught on to the “autograph my book” thing, either. I’m so impressed by the blurb and the cover that adding the author’s ink just doesn’t ever manage to occur to me … then again, you don’t get a lot of the authors I read rummaging around in NM.

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