Set up the room to sell more books

It’s all about the preperation. In keeping with the “selling books in unusual venues” theme, let’s talk about setting up that venue. You’ve secured a speaking engagement about your book with your local lions club or chamber. You’ve got your presentation down pat. The laptop is working with the projector. Your powerpoint pics are fabulous and your small list of jokes are timed perfectly.

But what about the books?

Most of these community meetings are at breakfast or lunch. Meals mean tables. And tables mean areas to display your book. Here are some helpful tips that worked for me:

1. Have copies of your book on each table – as your talking, people can hold your book in their hand and look through it. Try to put as many books on the table as there are people, so each can buy a copy. The more time each person has with your book, the more likely they’ll be to buy it.

2. Have a giveaway – put out slips of paper at each place and have people fill out the paper with their name and email address. Pass around a jar and have people put in their slips. At the end of the meeting, pick a name out of the jar and give them a signed copy of the book. What costs you a copy of the book will hopefully pay off many times with all these new email contacts.

3. More giveaways– People don’t always like meetings, but they LOVE giveaways. Make sure to put your promotional bookmark (or a few) at each place. One to keep and a couple to share.

4. “Hire” a photographer – persuade one of the people in charge of the meeting, perhaps the one who invited you, to take a few pictures of you during your presentation. Use the best pics for news releases, your blog and website. Just make sure to tell them beforehand that you want them to take some shots and make sure they’re cool with that responsibility.

5. Bring on the interns! – It will be hard for you to both sign books, talk to people while your signing and handle the sales transactions. Consider bringing someone else along to handle the sales transactions (especially if you’re set up to take credit cards). Talk to the community group, they might have someone willing to help you out.  

Hope that helps. If you have some other hints, tips, suggestions, or ideas about what’s worked for you, please comment.

As always, I’m taking the weekend off from the blog, but if you’re in Southlake, Texas on Saturday or Lewisville, Texas on Sunday, I’m having book signings at the Barnes & Noble bookstores in those cities. Visit for more information. I’d love to see y’all out there!

Until then,

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 


Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from for less that $10 at or at

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate one-of-a-kind gift at



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