Posts Tagged ‘book publicity stunt’

What’s your book signing attention-getter?


What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “gimmick”?

gimmickInterestingly, the English Language & Usage Stack Exchange website offers the following pieces, in relation to “gimmick.”


Does the word gimmick have a positive or negative meaning? It is not obvious to me from a Wikipedia article. I also would be glad if someone could explain it in two words, not several paragraphs spread across ten articles as in wiki. I understand that there are several meanings, but what do you think about when you first hear it?


It definitely has a negative connotation. It is a trick advertisers use to get your attention or to get you into their stores.


Yes. It can be either positive or negative depending upon context. Magicians, for example, usually use it in a positive context.


[G]immick implies something added on to an object or product to make the object more appealing than other similar objects, despite that fact that it might have nothing to do with the purpose of the object.

Regardless of your personal emotional response to the word gimmick, the fact remains that having an attention-getter as a regular facet of your book signings is a winning strategy.

Mary Ellen Stepanich is the author of a memoir titled D Is for Dysfunctional and Doo-Wop. Mary d is for dysfunctionEllen and her Doo Wop quartet have been singing barbershop style four-part music for more than a decade, having a ball performing for audiences throughout Arizona. Here’s the thing: Lilac Crazy, Mary Ellen’s quartet, accompanies her and performs at every book signing!

So I’m guessing the chances that you have any sort of regular musical accompaniment at your signings is fairly slim. Here’s the question: WHAT could you do, wear, or use as an attention-grabber that will set your book signings apart from others and create some authentic word-of-mouth interest?

LA Mascone is preparing to release her first novel, The Moondead, just in time for the holiday season.


When two gruesome slayings turn a remote desert city in Arizona upside down, Major Crimes lead night detective, Lt. John Padric, goes searching for answers. Local media is all over the story, calling the victims the moondead. Someone is targeting priests and nuns in the fictitious city of L’Arroyo; they’re dying on moonlit nights, the crime scenes macabre. A chance encounter brings an assist from archeologist-turned-nun, Sister Magdalen, and the convent of San Miguel. The cop and the nun meet when the detective must deliver the news that one of their Sisters was found dead of a near-decapitation.CARD 21 grandfather clock.jpg

A quartet wouldn’t quite be appropriate for Mascone’s book signing. But would you sit up and take note if a character woman in a nun’s habit appeared from the midst of the crowd at a book signing?

What could you do to garner similar attention at your own signing events? Are you the author of a Mexican food cookbook? How about a sarape and sombrero? Story about a mouse that lives in a grandfather clock? How hard would it be to cart along a cardboard grandfather clock prop to your book signing and play a background recording of the clock tolling?

Would these be gimmicky? Maybe. Is that a bad thing? Of course not – especially if you sell more books! So get over your fear of the word “gimmick” and embrace the PR stunt that will help people remember you and your books.

Here’s to making yourself memorable!



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


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