Most authors will tell you that book signings only have a small amount of success when it comes to connecting with readers. A better choice for authors, especially newbies, is the book event. A book event usually involves a bookstore presence but it rethinks the venue and broadens the scope beyond a mere signing. For example, the event for a book with a huge art component might be held at a local art museum with a local book vendor on site selling books. The museum joins in, advertising with tweeting and more. The local art council might join in, too.
Making your event an opportunity for cross networking is a good thing. Here are some solid tips to make your book event a success.
One of the most important pieces of the book event puzzle is advertising. Without alerting potential audiences of the event, there can be no success. All authors should leverage popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and so on. An author should also contact local press, including newspaper, magazines, television and radio, and drum up interest that way. Don’t sell short the lowly flyer as a viable way to inform. Event advertising should begin about three months before the event with a peak of advertising six weeks before.
A well-planned book event is about the details. Support a non-profit that connects with your work and donate some of the evening’s proceeds. Be sure you have greeters for your event who will guide attendees to your offered activities. Entertainment is a nice touch; live is always better. If you are uncomfortable reading your work, see if a local actress or actor will do it for you. Offer refreshments. More is not better in this case. Always plan to serve enough so that everyone gets one or two tasty bites. Consider a simple contest that involves your audience. Plan for the weather. Make your attendees comfortable regardless of the venue.
A book event is not a task to take on alone. The more people personally invested in your book event, the more you naturally extend the scope of your event. You need staff such as greeters, entertainers, bookstore personnel, and so on. You also should have an event coordinator. The night of the event you need to be free to be “the author.”
Don’t think that this has to be a huge outlay of cash. Your event coordinator may be a family member, and your staff could be your friends and family. The trick is to treat your event professionally regardless who serves as your support. Acknowledge everyone who helps you. Understand that your event is offering your helpers value, too, with experience in some cases and needed exposure in others.
Follow this sage advice and watch out: your only problem may be that you sell out of books at the event. Good luck.
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