Book events are a great way to meet people interested in books. If you handle it correctly, after your event they’ll leave interested in your book. Or better yet they’ll leave with your book.
However, there’s more to it than showing up with a pen and a stack of books.
Readers haven’t met many writers, but readers like being able to hold their book and announce they met, or perhaps, know the writer. It’s my opinion these readers have a stronger attachment to your book. Stronger attachments mean a higher likelihood they tell others about the book.
So how do you orchestrate a successful event?
Exploit friends, family, friends of family, and on down the line. Ask friends to host a release party for you. Invite friends to come and bring friends. Offer to help, but take advantage of the resources available to you.
Think outside the box. It’s not unusual to walk into a big bookstore and see an author signing books. Not that this is a bad thing or doesn’t hold the potential for success, but at a large bookstore there are loads of other books. Sure you will be there with your book, but it is one in the crowd.
Instead look for locations outside the retail bookstore setting. For instance, boutique wine stores. These venues are always looking for an event to host that will get folks in with a thirst. Plus, a glass or two of wine and people will love to talk. What better way to make your book the topic of conversation?
Look for smaller independent bookstores for events. Drop by for a visit and give the owner a copy of your book. If they like it they’ll likely get behind it and recommend it. So when the event occurs, they’ll be steering people to your book. This is something that you rarely get in the larger bookstores.
Third, market your event. Use word of mouth, visit business in the area, spread the word on Twitter, through your website, Facebook, etc. Put up fliers. If you have the budget look at local arts magazines. Get friends to help spread the word.
Don’t be afraid to approach people. Ask them what they’re looking for at the bookstore, ask them how the wine is, then steer them to your book. Be excited about it. Get them excited about it. Chances are this will result in a sale, if not on the spot, then later.
Bring flyers, business cards, postcards, bookmarkers, etc. If people don’t buy your book, give them some material about it. Make sure you have a website they can check out. Keep them thinking about it and make them want to come back.
Also get email addresses of everyone that attends so you can do a newsletter. You want to keep your book on their mind. Also, have someone shoot some video and post it on your website. People love to watch video.
Think themed events. Find a theme from your novel and build an event around it. For instance, in my novel, The Trust, in the book specific menus and dishes are mentioned. Several friends offered to host a release party for my book with the theme, “A Taste of the Trust.” Deal! Food, wine and books on a Saturday night even if not a single sale were to occur, that is a recipe or fun.
At the end of the day the more events you have the more people you’ll reach. Send out press releases to local media. Target smaller papers. Keep at it and be persistent. One large event where you sell and sign 100 books for an indie author is great, but a number of small events where you sell 10-15 are even better.
Good Luck and feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.
Oh and as long as you’re here, even though it isn’t in person, why not read an excerpt of The Trust or even buy a copy of your own. A percentage of all sales will be donated to canine related nonprofits. Support K9 rescues!
Sean Keefer is the author of The Trust, a tale of mystery/suspense set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
The Trust is the Debut Novel from Sean Keefer.
I'm happy to consider books for review. I'll review hard and paperbacks. I'll also be happy to review eBooks but can only do Nook or PDF format. Email me from the Contact page for more information. Thanks!