Saturday, February 13, 2010

Getting ready for book event - Buy a book, get a kiss

Today I have a book event with three other authors at Toadstool Bookshop in Milford, NH at 3 PM to 5 PM. This fact gave me the idea to blog about what you do to get ready for a book signing or event.

First, you have to arrange the book event. Stiffen your spine, lift up your chin, and strap on that teflon vest underneath your favorite shirt. Then walk right into whatever local business you wish to have an event at, introduce yourself as a local author, hand them a book, and get right into the spiel of how you would like them to host your event. Once they agree, you walk out of there smiling with a bounce in your step and go to the next place. Why go to another place? Because you are on a roll so you might as well since you've gotten up the nerve.

About two to three weeks before the event, publish your press release giving all the details of the event. Use online press release services (free ones), submit the press release to your local papers and the calendar section of the local papers, and of course, blog and twitter about it. If you have Facebook, post an event on Facebook and invite all your friends.

For more fun, create a theme for the event. For example, today's event has a theme called "First Kiss". With it being the day before Valentine's Day I thought that most appropriate. What exactly does this mean? Well, we (being the authors) will be reading the first kiss scene from our latest novels. This gives guests at the event the opportunity to get to know you and your writing and make them feel a part of the fun and not just handing out money for a book.

Okay, so you've arranged the event, decided on a fun theme, told the world it is going to happen, and now it's the day of the event. One would think this would be the easy part. You get up, shower, do your hair, brush your teeth. By all means, brush those teeth. Remember you are going to be meeting and hopefully chatting with a bunch of people. The last thing you want is to offend them with your stale breath. Okay, now you're presentable. What's next?

Pack your car. Do you have extra books in the trunk of your car? Even if you hold an event at a bookstore, always carry extra books in your car. Be sure to take one to give to your host if you haven't already done so.

Books packed - check. Pen, oh-my-gosh! This is a book signing/event after all with the end goal of being able to sign a book to a reader. Don't forget the pen or pens. Make sure there is plenty of ink or take an extra ink cartridge. Pen - check. Bookmarks. Do you have bookmarks? These are the best freebies to give away. Everyone needs bookmarks. You can never have enough. Plus, if someone does not buy a book they would take a bookmark. The more someone sees your name the more they may buy your book later. Bookmarks - check.

Here is something most people don't think about. Bookstand. You need a way to display your books for the guests. Remember, many people are shy or shy away from meeting someone face-to-face unless they have a reason. If the book is lying flat on the table they won't know what you have or who you are so they may not approach you. Displaying the book with your name on it gives them an idea of who you are and why you might be standing there with a silly grin on your face. Bookstand - check.

Lastly, at least I think it's last, is the kisses. No, no, not your lips kissing. Although, hmm, that could be an interesting book event. Buy a book - get a kiss. Today, that is exactly what I am doing, only there will be no lips involved. Since the theme is "First Kiss", I thought it would add a little fun to give away chocolate kisses with the books. It's these little things that make the event more memorable. Kisses - check.

Now, you're ready to go and so am I.

Hope to see some of you at Toadstool Bookshop today!


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