Book Signings

The Best Place to Hold a Book Signing

Photo by Jennifer Smith, with Holon author Taversia, at her release of  Viscountess, a Novel by Taversia .  Story by Ian Girdley. 

Photo by Jennifer Smith, with Holon author Taversia, at her release of Viscountess, a Novel by Taversia
Story by Ian Girdley. 


If we want to do live book signings, as we covered in The Power of the Live Author, what is the best place to hold a book signing?  The short answer is anywhere and everywhere.  The more you vary your venues the larger and more varied group of readers you reach.

The long answer is that it depends.  First, it depends on your goals—are you just trying to garner exposure or do you need to maximize the money you make off of each book sold, do you simply need a location for those that you’ve invited or are you seeking a location that will drive traffic for you?  Second, it depends on your book.

Let’s digress for a moment then move backwards.  Let’s quickly define what a book signing is, or, what we want it to be.  What we don’t want is to sit at a table for two to four hours waiting for shoppers to come up and buy our book.  This type of book signing rarely yields much fruit in sales or engagement.  We want to hold book signings that are literary events, that give us a chance to engage an audience with a reading, a short talk, and/or a Q&A session before we get down to the business of signing and selling books. 

TIP:  A book signing with multiple authors can draw a larger crowd, and larger sales for all authors involved, but we will save the how and what of book signings for a later post and get back to the where.

Now, back to the question at hand:

To Bookstore or Not to Bookstore?

This question brings us back to your goals.  If you need to make a book signing financially lucrative then stay away from bookstores.  Bookstores take a fairly hefty cut of the profit leaving you with little in the way of revenue for each book sold.  Yes, this means that you will have to buy the books to sell at the venue, but the increased profit margin to yourself (generally 40-55% of the cover price) makes this the best strategy. 

Bookstores can be a good place to have a book signing if they are willing to promote the event and draw people in, basically earning their stake in the profits.  This is particularly good for authors that are more concerned with building their audience than gaining returns.  Local, independent bookstores tend to do this better than the national chains and are generally more willing to make your signing into an event rather than sit you at a table for a few hours to wait for your Facebook friend’s to show up and give the store the lion’s share of profits.

TIP:  If you still want to seek out bookstores after reading this, use Google Maps to search out bookstores in your area (Tutorial Here).  Visit each store’s website.  Bookstores that keep an up-to-date events calendar already featuring literary events are a good place to start.

Thinking Outside the Bookstore

So, you have decided to stay away from bookstores, or you are a wise author and want to gain as much exposure as possible by expanding your venues.  So now you ask, “Ian, where is anywhere and everywhere?  Where is the best place to hold a book signing?” 

There is really no wrong place to have a book signing, really.  There are the go-to places like cafes, libraries, restaurants, schools, community centers, etc.  There are also places that most people wouldn’t consider.  I have planned or attended successful literary events at a furniture store, in a random college student’s basement, at a yoga studio, at a dive bar, in the middle of the mall, and so on.  If you can get a reading with a student group at a college, even better, as they do all of the promotion for you and have a built in audience.

What you are really looking for is a place that can help draw in an audience and can benefit from the audience that you work together to create. 

Begin with places you are comfortable with or to which you have some connection.  Do you know the owner of the local drugstore?  Set up a signing there and leave a few books behind for them to sell.  Worked out theological details of your Christian fiction book with your pastor?  See if you can hold a reading in the fellowship hall.   Belong to a local club or lodge?  Speak with the events coordinator about a signing during an annual event or as a standalone event. 

Even some chain restaurants have hosted authors I’ve worked with because they spent so much time writing there.  From there explore other go-to places and then start to think outside the box.  Start close to home then expand geographically.

Venues that have a connection to your book’s theme can also be invaluable.  You published a non-fiction book on sports?  Approach a sporting goods store.  Your mystery novel is set largely on a golf course?  Consider a reading and a game at the country club?  The possibilities are endless.

Some months ago, I spent five minutes of a morning meeting with my team of Book Consultants on an activity brainstorming venues that were feasible for a book signing.  I listed bookstores and the other go-to venues before we began.  Within five minutes we had fifty different venues.

Where is the Best Place to Have a Book Signing? 

Again, the answer is anywhere and everywhere, so long as you are comfortable approaching the venue, they are willing to have you, and it will give you a chance to engage an audience instead of sitting at a table.  The best place isn’t a single place, but as many places as you can muster.

Holon Author Matt Seidel signs latest book "Saviors" during Wine & Sign Event

Holon Author Matt Seidel signs latest book "Saviors" during Wine & Sign Event

Holon author Matt Siedel signs latest book ‘Saviors’ during Wine & Sign event  
By Jaclyn Lansbery

Holon author Matt Siedel promoted his first published book “Saviors” during a Wine & Sign event at Blueline Creative Co-Op and Studio on Jan. 17. The book is also Siedel’s eighth novel, and was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign in April 2013. 

We Crave Books: Instagram Contest

#WECRAVEBOOKS Photo Contest. Design & Photo by Holon. 

#WECRAVEBOOKS Photo Contest. Design & Photo by Holon. 

Love Books? Love Indie Books? So do we! 
We're giving away a bunch of books to the winners of our Instagram photo contest! Hashtag #WeCraveBooks with your photos of any books to get in on the action and we might just be sending you a signed copy of one of our indie books! 

We will announce the Local Winners of the contest, first, this weekend, January 17th & 18th with the national, and international winners of the contest in at the end of February. 


Will there be more than one winner? Yes. 
Do I have to live in Bloomington? No. 
How will I know if I won? We will message you directly on Facebook or Instagram, as well as post  photo to our website, facebook page, twitter, and instagram, with you tagged as the winner. 
When will I get my books?: If you live in Bloomington, Indiana, you can get your books THIS FRIDAY at our book launch of "Saviors, a Novel by Matt Seidel" 
What if I can't make the event?: Then please email us your shipping address and we will mail it to you, free of charge. 
When will I get my books if I don't live in Bloomington?: At the end of February, or March, we will let you know.

Please email us with any questions on the contact us section of our website! 



Wine & Sign: Book Launch

Wine & Sign
Holon's Author/Artist Showcase
Book Launch - Heroes of the 21st Century

When: Thursday, March 7th, 6-8PM
Where: Blueline Creative Co-op  224 N. College Ave. 47404 Bloomington, Indiana  

Holon cordially invites you to this month's "Wine & Sign" Author/Artist showcase, where we will be releasing "Heroes of the 21st Century," a satire by this month's author Peter Mason, visiting Bloomington from Virginia. We will also be launching the Kickstarter campaign for the psychological thriller novel "Saviors" by emerging author Matt Seidel.

Wine & Sign is a free event where guests will be invited to enjoy wine, tapas, art, music, and a meet and greet with our authors. Guests will also be invited to purchase copies of the book "Heroes of the 21st Century" at a special offer, directly from publisher and author. 

We hope you will join us for this occasion.

Join Facebook Event Here

For more info, contact Holon Publishing at:

Peter Mason, author of "Heroes of the 21st Century." 

Peter Mason, author of "Heroes of the 21st Century." 

Photo from November's "Wine & Sign" at Blueline Creative Co-op.

Photo from November's "Wine & Sign" at Blueline Creative Co-op.


"Wine & Sign" Authors, Art & Music

Wine & Sign - Not your ordinary art show or book signing.

What could be better than your typical book signing, art show, or live acoustic performance featuring great local artists? Holon's event series "Wine & Sign: Author, Art & Music Showcase," where you can find it all. Paired with a variety of wines and refreshments, the events hold a uniquely creative, lively and sensuous atmosphere for all who attend. 

Wine & Sign, November 10th, 2012. At Blueline Creative Co-op 

Wine & Sign, November 10th, 2012. At Blueline Creative Co-op 

On Saturday November 10th Holon Publishing had its third “Wine & Sign” event since launching its first author in January, which brought together not only authors and artists, but local businesses, non-for-profits, college students and members of the community.

Holon Author-to-be, Matt Seidel, speaking with the crowd. 

Holon Author-to-be, Matt Seidel, speaking with the crowd. 

The event was held at Blueline Style Creative Co-op, an innovative workspace shared by various local businesses and developers that also dubs as an art venue. Blueline's founder, Chelsea Sanders, runs a wedding & event photography business, in addition to being the primary curator of the space. 

The third Wine & Sign marked the first presentation of Holon’s young and local authors. It also was the first time new methods of approaching the publishing process were demonstrated, beyond self-publishing and traditional methods. Holon President Jeremy Gotwals explained to the public how Holon would be integrating local businesses and non-profits, as well as crowd funding, into the publishing and marketing process.

The staff at Holon Publishing. Photos by Jeremy Hogan. 

The staff at Holon Publishing. Photos by Jeremy Hogan. 

Matt Seidel, originally from New Jersey, will be Holon’s first crime-fiction/psychological thriller novelist who will also be utilizing “Crowd Source” development to fund the marketing and production of his book, sponsored by Holon.  Seidel's book “Saviors”, which will be out early 2013, is a tale of a serial murder that hunts villains, instead of helpless victims, on an obsessive pseudo-religious quest to save their souls.

Holon hopes to develop Seidel's book and successive works into screenplays and other creative projects.

Both Mariah Srygler, published poet and student at Indiana University, and Courtney Baxter, penname “Johnny Cougar,” children’s author and mother, will be co-sponsored by Holon & local businesses to participate in a publishing process that benefits Non-profits. Srygler's and Baxter’s work will involve local businesses and art by local artists, as well as creative development beyond just the publications of their books.

Syrgler gave a reading of her poetry while ambient music played softly in the background.

Holon's young authors, Srygler, Bundy "Lapore," Seidel and Baxter - and Holon President Jeremy Gotwals. 

Holon's young authors, Srygler, Bundy "Lapore," Seidel and Baxter - and Holon President Jeremy Gotwals. 

While guests enjoyed wine, complements of local business sponsors Historic Showers Inn and their event staff at Morrison Marketing & Media, Holon also showcased art—with illustrations from the adult satire,“You Don’t Know Anything Because You’re F@#!ing Two Years Old,” YDKA—a children’s-book satire & spoof, by young author, Valya Bundy, aka “Eva Katherine Lapore.” The book is similar to “Go the F&^@ to Sleep” narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Artist Eric Dagley and members of the Holon team are hard at work on producing the book, which is set to release in the coming weeks. 

Gotwals introduced Lapore with dramatic description, as the featured author. Afterwards guests gathered around to listen to a performance by local musician Crescent Ulmer, a member of a student group known as ‘Deadghost”.  After Crescent's  performance, music was played from the newly released EP “Indigo” by Indiana University Business Student and musician, Nitish Kulkarni.