How to prepare for a successful book signing?

What does your signature look like?

Have you practiced signing books? Practiced your autograph?

Remember Practice makes perfect.

Don't practice until you get it right... Unknown at Jean's Writing

I recently read a good article by Judith Briles on how to prepare for a book signing/author event.

Here’s what I learned from Ms. Briles about preparing for that big event.

Things to Remember for a book event - Jean's Writing

Click the link below and read her entire article for more in-depth tips on a successful author book signing event.

Author Essential Tips How to Autograph Books by Judith Briles 


Watch for Part 2 on autographing and selling your book.


Have you had a book signing yet? How did it go?

Do you have one scheduled for this year?

Are you ready for a signing event?

Do you have any good tips to add? I’d love to hear them.





Are you timid about promoting your book?

Do you fear sounding like a Twitter or Facebook Harpie?

Buy mine! Buy Mine! Buy Mine!


Well, I do.

I want to sell my little book as much as any other author, but I don’t want to beg. There has to be a better way than flooding social media with ads.

Thanks to Chris over at THE STORY READING APE for another terrific find. I don’t know where he manages to find so many amazing and informative websites, but I’m so glad he does.

I devoured this one on how to market a book without posting ads by the thousands on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

As an introvert, some of these would be difficult for me, but one of my goals for 2016 is to move a little more out of my comfort zone. The first step toward that goal, is participating in a local Author Con in the Spring.

You may not want to use all of her tips, but even one or two of these ideas could be the springboard you’ve been searching for to launch your book.

Are you ready to move beyond social media to promote your book?

Could you do a book fair, meet with a book club or do an interview with the local media?

Or how about my favorite on her list, create a holiday

Click below and read the entire article. Let me know which of her ideas you think have merit.

How to promote a book without using social media by Author Sandra Beckwith

What did you do to market your book? Did it work? 

Talk to us. Inquiring minds want to know.

You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdell and, stop by and say hey! Please remember to with a click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.


Publishing mistakes I made this year

First, let me say my mistakes were expensive.


Now that I’ve got that off my chest I’ll try to share something constructive.


  • I rushed the process.

Those who know me, stop snickering. I’ll admit patience is a problem for me sometimes. But after working on the same project over and over and over and over until I was sick of it and ready to put that baby to bed. I ended up submitting it three times due to errors found in the proof copy.

  • I didn’t understand the IngramSpark process before I started.

That turned out to be a very costly mistake. They use different templates than Createspace and well, everything is different. I’d read it was the easiest and cheapest self-publishing platform to use and it was.

So if you are looking for a step by step way to get a book self-published with little cost Createspace is the way to go.

This is something I didn’t realize. I know ignorance is no excuse, but it’s all I’ve got. Apparently many, not all but many reviewers want an advance copy of the book before it is released to the public. Go figure. In the link below Kristen Lamb explains how very important reviews are for writers, click and read. Review are our life blood.

  • When doing a book with illustrations or pictures use a heavier paper.

I’d read the suggestion somewhere by someone, don’t remember who or where but unfortunately didn’t. A mistake. The finished product, especially with the IngramSparks book would’ve looked much more polished.

  • I didn’t ask questions.

When in doubt, ask. That’s what the help line is for. The people at IngramSparks were very helpful. I should’ve called them sooner. Would’ve saved me $$$ and a lot of frustration.

  • Self-publishing a book without knowing anything about marketing.

And I still don’t have the vaguest idea how or where to start.

Did I learn anything? Yes.

  • I will probably make several mistakes but I do hope not the same ones.
  • Createspace is quicker, cheaper and easier than IngramSpark. However, I will continue to publish on both.
  • Ask questions!

How about y’all? Which platform do you use to self-publish? What has been your experience? I’d love to know.

The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers by Kristen Lamb

Self-Publishing and Living the LLC Dream by 

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book? 4 Authors Share Their Numbers by  

Leave a comment and tell me what you think. Together we can learn the latest writing tips, and look for me @jeancogdell on Twitter and jean.cogdell on Facebook!

Have a safe and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Do you know what to say?

How do you write a good bio without sounding like a politician?Me

As a woman who grew up in the South, I was instructed to be modest and not brag about myself. That boasting was vulgar.

So how in the hell can I write a good bio that will not seem either vulgar, boasting or worse come across as fake.

To make it worse each publication wants a different type of bio. Some want 50 words, others want to know everything about you. Sometimes the bio needs to be in first person, other times it needs to be written in third person. Sigh.

So I want to give a big shout out to Rachelle Gardner: Literary Agent, Editor & Publishing Coach, for her post on how to write a terrific bio.

No publishing credits?

You still need a bio and Rachel has suggestions to get you started.

Head over to her blog and read How to Write a Terrific Author Bio for some great tips. I don’t know about you, but I needed every one of them.

Please share my post with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

If you’re not already, I’d be much obliged if you would follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!