It’s easy! Here are the basics (also available here in PDF format):
A Doggitude book signing is a fun event that can help bring more customers to your store, gallery, or event–especially for dog-themed venues. This information sheet answers the most frequently-asked questions about hosting a book signing. Get in touch with me to discuss other questions or request a book signing date.
Who can host a book signing?
Anyone who has a venue can host a book signing! Since my book focuses on dogs and dog art, venues that are art- or dog-themed or where dog-lovers frequently visit are likely draw the most interest. Examples include galleries, art centers, pet boutiques, dog shelter events, horse shows, dog fairs, pet and dog shows, tack shops, art fairs, fine art and craft shops, horse and dog club events, and local festivals.
If a venue is not within 100 miles of my studio, travel expenses must be covered by the host unless I’m already going to be in the area for another reason or the book signing event is part of a book tour that I organized myself.
What happens at a book signing?
Generally I sit at the signing table where my book, artwork, and Doggitude merchandise is displayed and chat with visitors about the book as well as sign copies of the book that have been purchased.
Once per hour, for about a half hour, I do a painting demo to show how I paint dogs’ eyes in watercolor (since that is a feature of my work that is most remarked upon). If canine companions attend, I enjoy getting up to interact with them and offer them biscuits if permitted by their owners. If a coloring table with crayons and Doggitude coloring pages is set up, I enjoy wandering over to encourage any kids who might be coloring there. If the host has designated a local shelter or rescue for my typical donation of 10% of my proceeds, they can be invited to talk about their work and adoption process, and even bring some of their animals to introduce to attendees.
At certain venues, it may be possible for me to give a talk the day of the book signing or teach a workshop the day before or after. Information about talks and workshops I offer is available at http://www.carolepivarnik.com/ccpart/workshops/.
What’s this about a donation?
I typically donate 10% of my proceeds to a local no-kill dog shelter or rescue designated by the host. If the host does not wish to designate a local beneficiary, the donation will go to Rappahannock Animal Welfare League which is my shelter of choice.
Who handles payment transactions?
Typically I prefer for the host to do that when a book signing is conducted at a retail venue. In such cases, it is the host’s choice to post-purchase sold books and other Doggitude merchandise at my wholesale price or retain a negotiable commission (which generally ranges from 15-35% of the retail price). At events where the host collects payment, I require a check from the host to settle things up at the end of the event. At that time, the host may also purchase additional books and merchandise at wholesale prices to offer for sale in their store. I do not supply books and merchandise for sale on a commission basis.
In non-retail venues, I can collect payment and sales tax myself. I am able to accept cash, checks, and (if a wi-fi or mobile signal is available) credit cards.
How is a book signing date selected?
Hosts generally suggest a dates after we discuss my availability, other events the host may be planning, and local events which may coincide. You can get some idea of my schedule and potential availability by looking at the Events page at
http://www.carolepivarnik.com/ccpart/events/. In retail locations, book signings are generally held on weekends, usually from noon or 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. At festivals or other events where people are going to be around anyway, weekday book signings can work well.
What kind of prep is required for a book signing?
Once we have agreed on a date, the host is responsible for:
- Promoting the event beforehand to your own contacts and in local media; the more promotion done, the more likely the chances of a successful book signing.
- Selecting a local no-kill shelter to benefit from my donation policy and arranging details if they will be invited to speak at the event.
- Choosing and preparing the space where the signing will be held.
- Obtaining and providing any refreshments to be offered at the event.
I will provide a poster file for printing and distribution. I promote all my book signings on the Doggitude Web site, Facebook page, to my own contacts and to local media.
What amenities are required the day of the signing?
The basic needs are a 6’ or 8’ table, comfortable chair, access to an electrical outlet (for the hair dryer I use to speed demos along), and display space around the table for my art and signage. Art can be placed on easels or hung on walls. I usually bring three 16 x 20 framed paintings and six 12 x 12 framed prints. For a polished look, it is preferable to cover the table in a cloth that drapes down more than halfway in front or use a table skirt.
Other suggestions: separate coloring table for kids and a refreshments table (coffee, water, pastries). If dogs will be allowed to attend with their owners, consider their wagging tales and curious noses when selecting locations for signing, coloring, and refreshments tables. It’s a good idea to ensure there is plenty of room to move around so that dogs don’t start to feel crowded.
For book signings that take place outside, a tent or other shelter is required. Direct sunlight is bad for watercolor paintings and unexpected rain or wind is not a good mix with art and printed products.
How do I get more information?
Just get in touch!
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