Book Signing Tips for New Authors

There is an abundance of book signing tips for new authors available online. At some point in your author journey you’ll be asked to sign your book. It’s exciting! But, also it can be a bit nerve wracking. You’re about to make a permanent mark in someone’s shiny, new and pristine book. If you are like me, all I could think about was, what if I make a mistake!

I just returned from an event where several well established authors had book signings after their presentations. I walked around and watched how these authors signed books almost effortlessly. When I asked them about signing books, most were in agreement, it all starts with practice.

This month I have two book signing events and I thought it might be a good time for me to review and practice some of these great tips myself.

Decide where to sign your book

I like to sign my books on the title page, which is where most books are signed. You can also sign the inside cover. I have been asked to sign the book on my author page. This request was from an independent book seller who wanted to sell the book as an autographed copy.

Pens for signing

If you’re a writer I bet you have a favorite pen or two. But what makes the perfect pen for signing?

Many authors like to use a black sharpie. A thicker one or a finer one. I am not comfortable with sharpie pens. A ball point pen is my go to for book signings. Keeping a bunch on hand for signing events saves me time and energy.

I recently asked some picture book author friends for other recommendations and they suggested Micron pens and the Faber-Castell artist pens. I have not tried one, but it sounds like these might be a great alternative.


Practice your signature over and over and well in advance of when you first have to sign books. Are you going to use your full name? Initial and last name? Whatever you do, make sure it’s different to the signature you use to sign checks! Be sure it is legible.

I write my full name. Yes, it takes up a lot of space, but I make it work. Many authors write in different colors. I just had a book signed by Henry Winkler and he signed it in green, my favorite color. I have been thinking of using only green to sign my books, but I think different colors add more fun!

Personalize your message

In most cases, children and adults want the book inscribed to them personally, though sometimes it’s intended as a gift so be sure to ask, “Should I sign this to you?” Use their first name and always ask for the spelling since even common names can have unusual spellings.

If you have time, try to personalize your message in some way. “It was great meeting you at The Reading Nook.”

Choose a signature phrase

Ideally you should have two or three phrases that you write each time you sign a book. Your message can be simple and you can relate it to the character in the book or it can be more generic.

I sign my books: “I hope you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.” OR “From my bookshelf to yours with Love.” Before a book signing practice writing your phrase so it will flow when you need to write it.

Final Tips

My final book signing tip for new authors is very simple. Plan, practice and have fun! With these book signing tips for new authors you will be ready for your first event.

If you would like some tips about planning a book signing event … check out this post.

With gratitude …

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