Monday, February 26, 2018

Author-Reader Events #OpenBook Blog Hop

I had no idea what to expect when I signed up with my first in-person sales event. It was the ComicCon of 2016, the first one to be held in Cheyenne, and no one knew what to expect. Luckily, my cover artist is an experienced con-goer, and she gave me lots of tips. (Waves. Hi, K.M.!)

And I'll admit I overdid it. A banner, business cards, and postcards, as well as a game with prizes. Everyone was a winner. (At least they got a piece of candy!) Did it help me sell books? Hard to say. I broke even on the booth, and had publicity materials for the next couple of years.

But I did sell books. In my mind, enough to make me feel successful. Enough to make me decide to to more book sales.

How did I do it? I used the game to get people to come to my table. If the kids came and played, the parents tagged along and that gave me the opportunity to talk to them. Some of them picked up my books and took a look at them. A few of those bought one or more of the books. But I think the biggest selling factor was the smile I had plastered on my face, and the fact that I wasn't afraid to talk to the strangers wandering the sales floor.

What would I have done different? I didn't ask folks to sign up for my newsletter (non-existent at that time!) Now, I take along a notebook and ask if they wouldn't mind getting my occasional newsletter.

Now, there aren't many (or none at all!) literary conferences locally,  so I looked other places for opportunities A smaller con in a nearby town. A Christmas craft sale. A steampunk-themed fund raiser. A book signing at a local bookstore.

You'll notice that none of those is an author-reader event in it's purest form. I haven't done one of those-yet. I've signed up to participate in Wild Deadwood Reads in June.

There's a part of me that wonders if I know what I've gotten myself into. It's not like I have a huge fan base that will rush to Deadwood to meet me in person. I have nightmares about sitting all alone at my table, watching authors sell book after book while I sell nothing.

I'm prepping myself to believe that the event is really about getting to know other authors and exchanging ideas and having a lot of fun doing it. But I'll pack up my books, my banners, my business card and postcards, and plaster on my best smile, because deep in my heart, I know I'm going to try to meet new readers.

By the way, I'll have a new book to introduce! Wolves' Gambit should be available by then. So if you are in the Deadwood, SD area June 9th. come buy and say hi and pick up a signed copy.

Now,I'm off to see if I can find out if I'm missing anything from the other authors.

Feb. 26, 2018 – Do you attend Author/Reader Events? What do you offer on your tables and how do you interact with readers?

1. Link your blog to this hop.
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3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
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  1. I found that the people signing up for my newsletter because I asked them to would unsubscribe some time later. However, the people who sign up because they want to do not...

    1. Newsletters are funny things, but conventional wisdom says they are a necessity.

  2. You'll have fun in Deadwood and meet some nice readers. Keep smiling and have a good time.