4 Lessons from CBP Author, Bridgette Ridgeway
An author's first book signing is a crucial moment. It can set the tone for their book launch and establish momentum for a fun—and profitable—first year of selling, if done correctly. With appearances and endless congratulations from friends and family, potential fans, and your first book sale(s), a book signing is a memorable event for any author.
But there are a few critical steps to ensure an enjoyable and successful book signing. Today we're highlighting one of Cincinnati Book Publishing's recent authors, Bridgette Ridgeway. Bridgette hosted her first book signing (for her first ever book) this past Sunday that turned out to be a tremendous success with over 100 people appearing and approximately 80 sales (for a total of $1,200!) of her book, Prayer & God's Power.
1. Have a Vision
When Bridgette energetically approached us at Cincinnati Book Publishing (CBP) in June, she had an idea of when and where she would have her inaugural book signing—mid-August at Peace Baptist Church in Avondale. Even before any of the paperwork was signed or the text had gone into editing and design, Bridgette had a plan. She knew that she was the best salesperson for her book and story. So, she was able to hit the ground running once the books were off the press, and it paid off.
2. Get the Word Out
Having signed with us in June and aiming to have her signing in August, Bridgette and CBP had two months to spread the word. With social media, reminders at Peace Baptist Church services, and reaching out to news/media outlets, people were starting to mark their calendars for August 15th.
Closer to the event, Bridgette got to make some public appearances for interviews to discuss the book, her story, and upcoming book signing. She was featured on:
88.3 (WAIF-FM) radio out of Cincinnati, OH
Starting in late July, Bridgette was interviewed every Wednesday until the book signing to gain publicity for the event. Because of her appearances, Bridgette also was offered a role to regularly co-host a segment called "Gospel Extravaganza." (It will be on every Wednesday from 10 am - 12 pm.)
In over a 20-minute segment, Bridgette discussed her early struggles of incarceration and drug addiction but how she found God during those trials.
Bridgette was also interviewed on Cincinnati's local morning news. She discussed her book's goal to inspire people, showing them that "you can overcome anything. Just don't give up." Prayer & God's Power is a means of support for anyone going through difficult times.
3. Establish Your Brand
Bridgette went all out in decorations for her book signing. She had a cake, chips, water bottles, banners, and T-shirts with her book's front and back cover on it. Stuff like this builds a strong brand for an author and their work. It instills a sense of pride for readers (and as a publisher) to see how much the author cares. Bridgette was eager to leave an impact on her audience.
Tony Brunsman, president of CBP for over 25 years, explained that Bridgette's book signing was one of the best he had seen, because "you could recognize Bridgette's investment and enthusiasm. And it was a lot of fun because of it."
4. Get Some Help and Make it Fun
A quote I often associate with teamwork is from the show Parks and Recreation, and I think it applies well here:
"No one achieves anything alone." - Leslie Knope
In order to make her signing such a success, Bridgette needed help from a few key players. One cousin baked that picturesque cake (So Sweet Sugar Boutique), another cousin was responsible for the décor (Truly You Event Production), a third cousin made the branded chips and water bottles (Ashley Johnson), and family/friends made sure drinks were cold and stocked, the cake was cut and passed out, and facilitated the queue and payments while Bridgette got to enjoy herself, sign books, and graciously thank everyone who attended.
Information for Prayer & God's Power
Prayer & God's Power followers Bridgette Ridgeway's drastic life transformation: from crack addiction, a prostitute, and a thief being incarcerated three separate times to now unparalleled success as an entrepreneur, minister, and wife/mother/grandmother. It outlines how Bridgette's faith played a tremendous role in her ability and confidence to get sober.
For more details or to purchase:
Information for Cincinnati Book Publishing
Cincinnati Book Publishing is a full-service, hybrid publisher established in 1991. With extensive experience and expertise with nonfiction, CBP's mission is to publish and distribute books that matter.
Visit CincyBooks.com or call 513-426-6500 to learn more.