Is Edinburgh A Good Book Signing Location?

If you’re an author on tour looking for the next place to promote your work and meet fans, it can be hard to come up with an itinerary. You know you should travel, but you’re not sure where to tour and what’s the best use of your money. 

In this post, we look at whether it’s worth paying a visit to Edinburgh for a book signing. Scotland’s capital is a vibrant place (and quite wealthy), but does it make sense to do a book-signing destination? Let’s find out. 

Why Edinburgh Makes Sense As A Book Signing Location

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Edinburgh makes sense as a book signing destination for several reasons.

The first is its status as a literary hub. UNESCO calls it a “City of Literature” in celebration of its history and love of the written word. 

The city also hosts the annual Edinburgh International Book Festival. Every year, thousands of literature lovers from across the world travel to the location to discuss the most exciting stories and narratives. Writers receive the praise they deserve for their hard work putting together books that keep people captivated long-term. 

Finally, Edinburgh is a tourist destination in its own right. People often travel to the city after visiting London and York, driving up from the south along the A1. Various attractions, such as the castle, National Record Office, new shopping mall, and Botanical gardens attract people from across the world. This status makes Edinburgh an attractive destination in its own right, and book signing can leverage this for more exposure and publicity. 

What To Consider Before Choosing Edinburgh As A Book-Signing Location

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However, you will still need to choose Edinburgh carefully. While it might seem like an attractive destination, it isn’t necessarily the best place for you to visit. 

Your Audience

Before going to Edinburgh, try to figure out whether your audience will be there. If you write for international readers, it is an excellent destination thanks to its airport and transport links. Millions of people travel to the city every year in search of its iconic landmarks and high quality of life. 

However, some people don’t go there. For example, it’s not popular among many income groups in the UK and isn’t often frequented by people who live across England as a whole. It’s also perhaps not the place for casual audiences. You’re more likely to find people in the city who are absolutely committed to reading. 

The Transport Situation

You’ll also want to consider the transport options before going to the city. As it happens, Edinburgh has excellent links that are quite easy to use. Besides the main rail station which connects to the rest of the UK, there are various park and ride locations around the city’s perimeter that go to central areas and then turn around and go back out the same way. There are also regular bus services that run across the central areas. 

For authors with bags, there’s luggage storage in Edinburgh. These facilities let you keep your items at a safe location and collect them later (handy if you want to go to a nearby city afterward for another book signing session, such as Glasgow or Newcastle). 

Event Timing

Finally, you’ll want to think about the timing of your book signing event. Aligning it with other happenings in the city can increase publicity and help you meet more fans. 

For example, the Edinburgh Book Festival occurs in August. You might be able to piggyback on this event and get yourself in front of the exact audience you need to sell more copies.

Don’t travel when other events are on. Doing a book signing when Taylor Swift is in town could cut down on the number of people who come to see you. 

You can find out whether there are other events in Edinburgh using Eventbrite. It usually has a comprehensive list of everything that’s happening in the city for your date. 

Weekends might be a better option if most of your readers work. Weekdays could be more convenient for retirees. That’s why it’s essential to consider your audience before making any firm plans. 

Local Book Shops

Finally, you’ll want to consider local book shops before choosing Edinburgh as a book signing location. You’ll want to check they have the space and facilities you need given your popularity or the number of people they expect. For larger book signings, you may need to adapt the pavement outside and put up safety barriers to keep people safe (if it is close to a main road).