10 Tips of Book Marketing: Author Events

Literary Publicist, Stephanie Barko, gives you the secret to success for your author events.

Tip #4: Author Events

Unless you are an airline employee like my award-winning memoirist client, Jamie Patterson, you definitely want to put some thought into things before deciding to fly around during a book tour.

The key to getting a healthy turnout at an author event is making sure you are not responsible for attendance.  After your local launch, where all your nearest and dearest will automatically arrive to support you, the events you want to do are those where someone else is gathering your audience for you.

Let’s look at what some of those events might be.

If you have lived in more than one city during your lifetime, it is likely that you have a following remaining in some of those locations.  For instance, one of my best friends in high school, who now lives several thousand miles away, follows me around like a puppy dog on social media.  If I told her I was coming to her town, there is no doubt in my mind that she would move heaven and earth to produce a turnout for me.

If you have far-flung relatives who like you, it is possible that they will not only host an event for you with their friends, but also put you up, possibly reducing your expenses for both lodging and venue.

Book festivals bring your readers to you on a platter.  All you have to do is figure out how you want to meet them–as presenter or salesperson.  Your first choice will be to present, since it’s free. Consider exhibiting when you are not selected as a featured author.

What author events are you planning?  What examples can you provide of an event that came with built-in turnout?

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  1. I was fortunate to find events related to my subject matter with large attendance at which I was able to set up. My book (Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder) is, obviously, about Laura Ingalls Wilder and I was able to attend three events at which cast members of the TV show were the main draw, bringing in many more people than I ever could have myself. Although the similarity is thin – the tv show was fictional, and my book deals with a facet of the real Laura’s life about which few people are aware – it was enough to tie into. Locally, I look for Masonic events.
    I try to calculate the expense of the trip and estimate how many books might be sold at a given event (difficult proposition; often surprised, sometimes happily, sometimes not) to determine if the event is worth it. It should be noted, however, that sometimes it is worth attending an event where you know you may not sell many books if it will get you further exposure that you believe will lead to sales in the long run. For example, at one event I attended I knew I wouldn’t sell many, but the media coverage of the event led to a much wider recognition of my book, leading to more sales.
    Great tips, Stephanie. I enjoy your posts.

  2. Great post.

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