A Shop of Ideas: How To: Host a Successful Signing

A Shop of Ideas: Keys to Signing

Preach on Deadpool, Preach on

Hey Fandom! We’re back with a nuts and bolts article: How to do a creator signing! We get asked a lot “How do you guys get so many comic creators to come to your shop,” “How do you promote it,” and “Are you really just a lonely guys who would have no friends if you didn’t do these events?” All those questions and more are answered here as we trace the history of Daniel Way’s Deadpool Vol. 1’s Release Party!”

Creator Signings, http://www.acomicshop.com/web/creatorsignings/

Daniel Way, Facebook Event: RSVP, http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=51776146566

Before a shop tries to do a creator signing they really need to have a plan on how to promote it. Profiles on social networking sites, like Facebook and MySpace, need to be built and maintained to help get the message out. You can contact a writer or artist directly via Myspace of Facebook, but we found the best way is face to face at a convention. Have your pitch down, and sell them on the event. What’s the signing for, what’s the hook, how are you going to promote it, etc. Make sure you offer the creator some options for dates and travel. For example, you may want them to come in for the release of their next book, so offer them the option to fly in the day before and fly out the day after or, if they’re super busy, they can fly in and out the same day.

Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winter...hop/8437680830

MySpace, http://www.myspace.com/acomicshop

We went to Heroes Con knowing Daniel Way would be there and that his upcoming Deadpool book was going to be a big hit. We showed him our portfolio full of pictures of our past events and told him we’d like to do a release party for Deadpool Vol. 1. This was nine months before the release. We had no idea of the actually date Vol. 1 would come out; we just wanted to see his interest and get a commitment from him. Way was pretty easy going, he liked what he saw in our portfolio, and agreed to some of the weird ideas we had for the signing itself. So, basically have a well thought out plan to promote the hell out of a creator’s books, then meet them at a convention and pitch it. Make sure there’s plenty of time to promote it, and then get started.

You'd think he could use the ring to make a sign...

Word of mouth can start in your shop as soon as you get confirmation of the event, as low level as mentioning the writer is coming when you ring up anything they’ve written. In store signs by the register are great too. By the third time a customer sees it they may take notice. One thing which we found should be done at least a month before the event is postcard flyers. Postcard flyers come pretty cheap. We get 5,000 full color double-sided flyers for $100. The flyers are then put in shopping bags, left all over town at small businesses, and put in people’s hands at colleges.

With Deadpool, we were able to have some fun. We bought a Deadpool costume on eBay and dressed our outreach employee, Mike, up as the Merc with a Mouth. People love Deadpool’s humor, so we thought meeting Mike as Deadpool would make the event stick in their minds. MegaCon was held here in Orlando about a week ago, and Deadpool was there! MegaCon is getting more and more known for the whole cosplay thing, so we figured it’d be a great place for some stealth marketing. Mike went up and down the aisles of the convention as Deadpool all weekend, stopped every few feet for photos AND to give people a flyer to come to his “Deadpool Party.” We got a couple thousand flyers right in the hands of people who like Deadpool. There won’t always be a convention for promotion, but there’s always something going on, so be where the action is.

Jason Aaron's appearance gets...weird

One thing we should stress is it takes several smaller events to be able to promote a big event successfully. These events build friendships among your customers and a feeling of community to your shop. Each time you promote something it gets a little easier, word of mouth spreads faster, you’ll have more contacts on Facebook, etc. When we do creator signings, we try to tie it to the release of a book and have an actual release party. Having a Release Party, and making it a real party with free beer may seem silly. Free beer may even seem frat boy like, but it makes the comic shop a social gathering where people are building bonds with each other and the shop. Also, I know I’m not the only one who would be lonely with no friends if we didn’t throw parties (did that sound defensive). Comics are a solo experience; this is a way to share the comic fan lifestyle with other locals. Conventions are fun, but in-store events can create a local comic community.

After the event, we continue to promote the creator and their books and have found that most everyone we’ve had in the shop sells better afterwards. There’s something about meeting a creator that just makes you a little more interested in their next book. We also have everyone who comes through sign or draw on our bathroom door. We show off the door when we give tours of the store, and a funny thing someone wrote or drew can help sell their book years after they were in the shop.

Darick Robertson, sketching during an appearance

If you have any questions about how to promote a store signing, email us. If you’re a comic fan whose shop never has store signings ask them if you can help them with one. Our Deadpool release party with Daniel Way is this Wednesday March 11 from 3pm until midnight. We’ll do a follow up article to this whole Deadpool thing with some fun video. Keep an eye out for our next store signing April 3rd with Ethan Van Sciver for Flash Rebirth #1, http://flashrebirth.com. Thanks for reading.

Ethan Van Sciver, Facebook Event: RSVP, http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=53807144019

aaron@acomicshop.com or jason@acomicshop.com

“A Comic Shop” is located at 114 S. Semoran Blvd Winter Park, FL 32792 (407) 332-9636. Established: 2006


Get Caught Up:

A Shop of Ideas: Ideaology Epilogue 

A Shop of Ideas: Ideology Part 5, Future Vision 

A Shop of Ideas: Ideaology Part 4, Creativity Counts 

A Shop of Ideas: Ideaology Part 3, Format Neutral Story Advocates

A Shop of Ideas: Ideaology Part 2, My Free Comic Book Day

A Shop of Ideas: Ideology Part 1, NO MORE BACK ISSUES

A Shop of Ideas: Holiday Hullabaloo

A Shop of Ideas: Life at A Comic Shop 

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