Monday, May 12, 2014

What to Expect from a Book Event

Happy Monday!
I had an incredible time at the Ohioana Book Festival! I got to meet Julie Flanders in person - so cool! She's a sweetheart! I also got to meet some other fantastic authors and industry professionals from Ohio...

Terry Ervin II   * * *   Brian Klems

Julie Flanders!

Julie & Me =)

my little spot

the Library Mouse

New Connection - Andrea from the SCBWI - Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators!

After going to a few book events, I have learned some things. Yes, always learning! So I thought I would share. And for those who have also been to events, please add your thoughts!
  1. Be prepared - bring swag to give to attendees so they will remember you, display info about your books, put out a stack of your author cards, have signing pens and a notepad. I also bring my own table cloth and some decorations, like my crime scene tape. And candy or a treat that goes with your book is always a big hit! I have mints with Pop Travel on them, and for the BBF release, I ordered some custom-wrapped lollipops!
  2. Be flexible - if you've never been before, you don't know what kind of space you're getting or who you'll be sitting next to. Don't have high hopes and you won't be disappointed. And the other writers are usually great people with info and insight to share.
  3. Be approachable - I found that not everyone wants to have the author tell them about the book. Some want to look at the cover and read about it in silence, give them that chance. Others have lots of questions, the main one being: What's it about? Have a quick answer for them to hook them into wanting to know more!
  4. Be available - if the host of the event asks you to do an author panel - DO IT! They are so awesome! And you get that much more exposure. You don't have to sell yourself so much as just talk about your book to an eager audience. Then you can answer questions as you see fit. I got to do two! It was the best experience I've had so far!
  5. Be Smart
    • hydrate! you'll be talking all day so make sure to take a break and get a drink once in a while. It's okay to leave your spot for a few minutes here and there, tho we all think that's when someone will come by to buy a book.
    • learn from those around you - go look at their displays and swag and tables, so many great ideas!
    • take a hint if someone isn't interested, let it go, thanks for stopping by
  6. Be gracious - even if you didn't sell a ton of books (and don't expect to) you should be thankful for the experience and the opportunity. It's more about exposure and connections. The bigger, more well-known authors sell the most books. And the more you write, the more you have to sell.
If you sign up for a book festival or conference near you, let me know! I just might join you!

And now a word from our sponsor
It's time to announce the BROKEN BRANCH FALLS Cover Reveal Giveaway Winners!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nicki won the ARC and graciously offered to do a review for BBF
(It's just about ready for me to send to all my ARC review volunteers - I know you're probably wondering when you'd get it... Hopefully this week!)
Lucky Christine won the $10 GC =)
And Nick came up as winner number 3, but I decided to give him another $10 gift card since sending the goodie bag would've cost me more!
And that means C Lee McKenzie got to be the lucky goblin goodie winner! Yay!

Thanks to everyone who participated - it was a smashing success - I got so many awesome responses and bonus tweets!

Lastly, I wanted to tell you a little more about my blog friend, Carrie-Anne. If you've visited her blog, you'll know she and I are very different - I'm sci fi/fantasy and she's historical - opposite ends of the genre spectrum! I'm sure I met her through the A to Z challenge a few years ago as one of my alphabetic stops and she commented back and we've been chatting ever since. I have always enjoyed reading about the stories behind her stories, her travels, her many languages, her vast knowledge of history. If you like historical novels, you should really check her out! I leave you with Carrie-Anne's alluring new cover and release.

Author:  Ursula Hartlein
Title:  And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away
Genre:  Historical fiction, Bildungsroman
Release date:  9 May 2014

Jakob DeJonghe can think of nothing but revenge when the Nazis coerce his father into suicide and his little sister mysteriously disappears the day before Yom Kippur.  As conditions in Amsterdam worsen, Jakob is determined to fight back and be the master of his own destiny, just as his heroes the Maccabees did in ancient times.

While en route from Westerbork, Jakob seizes an opportunity to jump from a death train, breaking his foot as he lands.  As he limps for his life toward a forest, he’s found by four young resistance fighters and taken to a safe house.  Even though Jakob has been left with a permanent limp, he’s still determined to defend his country and track down the men who killed his father. 

His dream comes true when he joins his new friends’ resistance group, but after a chance meeting with a spirited young woman on one of his missions, he’s jolted by emotions he thought he’d buried.  And when he’s recruited into the Princess Irene Brigade and made a real soldier, Jakob realizes his battle is only half-won.  If he ever wants to survive a world that will never be ordinary again, love and not hate will have to carry him through.  And if he finds his dream girl again, this painful readjustment just might be easier.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I definitely know Carrie-Anne! Big congratulations to her.
Cool you got to meet Julie and had a good time. I think the experience alone would be worth it.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

So cool that you got to meet Julie Flanders Tara!! Hope you have a great Monday!

Suzi said...

Holding a book event would scare me. I suppose it's nerve-wracking for everyone that first time. And 2nd. And 3rd... :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yeh on meeting Julie! :)

Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing all your insights.

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Looks like fun! I've done over 300 book events, and you have to go into them prepared and with an air of expectation that no matter how it turns out, it will lead to something else.

Nick Wilford said...

Thanks for the gift card - that's cool!

Glad you had a great time. I wouldn't have thought to have sweets as part of the swag. :) Great tips here!

DEZMOND said...

glad to hear you had a great time at the event

Robin said...

Your table looks fabulous. Congrats on all of the exposure you gained at this event, the speaking gigs, and the making of new friends. Sounds like a wonderful time all the way around!!!

Loni Townsend said...

Great tips! And that's awesome you got to meet a fellow blogger in person.

Grat Carrie-Anne.

Stephanie Faris said...

I needed this! I have three events this week...I'm going to stock up on some chocolate to give away. Chocolate makes everything better!

M.J. Fifield said...

I love that you travel with crime scene tape.

Thank you for the tips...I am furiously taking notes with the hopes of some day needing them in a real life application kind of way. =)

cleemckenzie said...

Some great suggestions! And so glad you two got together. That's wonderful.

Southpaw said...

Great tips for a "scary" event. :) If you get a chance, it would be nice to know how you did the pop travel mints custom lollipops.

Oh, and I love the new header!

Cie Cheesemeister said...

I think my last comment got eaten. I wanted to wish you luck on the event.
I'm visiting from the Insecure Writer's Group list. My Insecure Writer Whinge is at The Cheese Whines.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Lots of great info.
Great job on your event. You look like you had so much fun!

Congrats to the winners!


The Silver Fox said...

Looks like all concerned had a lot of fun.

S.P. Bowers said...

The book event sounds awesome! I'm tucking all the advice I get away for when I (someday, somehow) get to do one. Thanks!

Christine Rains said...

That's fantastic you had such an awesome time! Great advice too. And yay, I'm a winner! Made my day. :)

mshatch said...

I'm jealous you got to meet Julie - I'm dying to talk history with her!

Rena said...

Those are some excellent tips for conference going. It sounds just like other professional conferences (only featuring books and writers, which sounds more fun than a biomedical conference, or a chemical engineering conference).

Michael Di Gesu said...

Congrats to CARRE Anne...

And all the winners. I was such a fun reveal!

How cool you met Julie! I wish I had come out there to meet you guys, but Chicago is a bit too far away for a day trip. LOL. Maybe next year...

Thanks for the tips and I'm glad you had such a fun time!

Carrie-Anne said...

Thanks for featuring me by your blog!

Re: the author/book swag, I discovered graphic designer Karen Kavett through YouTube, and also have visited her website/blog many times. She's got a lot of videos and posts about how to design business cards and other things that could really help with making good swag, from typography choices to layout to logos. Since my little publishing imprint is called Purple Tarantula Press, the logo on my author swag will feature a tarantula!

Heather Holden said...

You got to meet Julie Flanders? Very cool! I always love visiting her blog. Glad to hear this book festival ended up being all-around awesome for you! :)

Heather Musk said...

It's great that you can meet your fellow bloggers at these events. I hope one day to finally meet some of you bloggy friends in person too.
I know you're all real people and I'd love to finally chat properly :-)

Misha Gericke said...

Awesome tips! I'll keep them in mind for if I ever go to an event like that. :-)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Great advice! When I started doing book events in 2010, two experienced authors who were sharing the event with me gave me the advice to never count the success of an event by how many books were sold, but by the connections I made with book sellers, readers, and other authors.

Cathrina Constantine said...

What a great experience. Sounds like you had a good time.

D Biswas said...

Wow, meeting fellow bloggers in real life is an experience in itself. Lots of good advice here!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I kept trying to remember why I didn't do Ohioana and remembered I wasn't sure when my son's graduation would be. But I am looking forward to September and keeping an eye out for more book events!

Emily R. King said...

All great advice! The trick is just to have fun with it, it seems.

Shonna Slayton said...

Great advice. I'm taking notes as I head out for the first time to events. It's kind of nerve-wracking to think about, but preparation helps! Still working on my swag.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara .. what fun to see Julie there with you ..

and great advice: be prepared .. and drink .. and move - cheers Hilary

Kimberly said...

Thank you for all the tips on holding a book event! Swag - that is one thing I don't have.

Congrats to Carrie-Anne on her book!

Tyrean Martinson said...

It's so cool that you got to meet Julie and that you had a great time!!! Way to go! And thanks for the tips!

cleemckenzie said...

When I win, I get giddy! Thanks for the day of giddiness.

Nicole said...

Well, that advice was pretty much priceless! ;) Thanks for sharing your lessons from the road, so-to-speak. It's so neat that you're gaining all these memories and experiences!