Saturday, May 4, 2013

Advice for New Authors: Your First Event

Are you a new author looking to have a signing to celebrate the release of your awesome, shiny book? Planning an event can be a bit of a headache, but hopefully today's post will lighten some of the load.

As a person who likes to have a plan, the first thing I suggest is to sit down with a friend or two and discuss what you want your event to be like. Do you want it to more of an open house where you can mingle and sign books? Would you prefer to have it be a bit more formal with a Q&A before you sign books? Do you want to have giveaways? Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Leah Clifford hosted a costume tea party for the release of A Touch Morbid, and it was fun, unique, and memorable.

Once you have an idea of how you want your event to go, find an appropriate venue. Definitely try to find a local bookstore who'd be willing and excited to host you. You might be a bit nervous approaching a store, but don't worry too much; most bookstores/booksellers are eager and happy to help out a new author. They might ask to stock your book on consignment, but this is reflective on the economy/market and not on you personally. :-) Make sure to ask how the store will publicize the event so you can plan your own publicity endeavors accordingly. In terms of when to have your event, aim for an evening time in the later part of the week.

Once the venue and date are set, it's time to start promoting the crap out of your signing. Make a Facebook event page and start getting the word out online. Blog, Tweet, Tumble, Pin, etc... Don't be too obnoxious about it, though, haha. Also, ask if the store has event fliers or postcards for you to hand out. If not, look into making some of your own. I took some postcards to my old high school and it really helped. Most stores will run an ad in the local newspaper for events, so you might want to take it a step further and look into getting an interview to go along with a listing for the event. Reach out to your local news stations, too.

The most important thing, however, is to remain calm and have fun during your event. Enjoy every moment of it and then fall into bed afterwards and get a well-deserved night's rest.

Hopefully, this post was helpful and if anyone has any questions about planning an event, let me know! In addition to being an author, I'm also a bookseller, so I've had experience with author events, so I'm happy to help. Just let me know in the comments!

Be proud, write loud.

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