Visionary Fiction Alliance

Read, Write, Awaken

Book Signings Can Be Boring So Create An Event Instead

authorevent As an author maybe you’ve been there. You sit behind a table with a stack of books in front of you and wait. That’s it; you wait. Why not liven things up a   bit?

Sponsor an event instead of a simple book signing. Think an interactive author appearance…engage your audience and connect with readers.

As long as you’re at it, why confine your event to a bookstore?  Why not approach a local hardware store, gift shop or library branch to host your event?   You can even leave some of your autographed books there on consignment.

Events can get boring too so here are 10 suggestions of things you might use to make your event more fun:

  1. Make the event an event by asking another author (or two) from the area to join you and you can combine your events.
  2. Don’t just read from your book tell a story about writing it or what inspired you. Share an anecdote or two about the experience.
  3. Devise a quiz or contest for the audience. Test their knowledge of your subject or the contents of one of your previous books.
  4. Have you considered a presentation or slideshow…maybe a video. If you have a book trailer why not present it? Talk about any upcoming events.
  5. I’ve read fiction that has blended known songs into the story. Create a playlist that goes along with the novel.
  6. You might write DIY or non-fiction books or even include a recipe or special treat in your story. Try a simple demo or share the results of the recipe with the audience.
  7. Ask someone to interview you. Invite a friend or colleague who knows your book and writing to be up there with you.
  8. If you have a sequel in the works don’t forget to share the news and deliver a teaser or two.
  9. Offer refreshments but keep it simple. One author I know uses candy kisses. I just completed a book wherein the main character and her Italian family grew olives and pressed the oil. For that author I would suggest sharing a variety of olives or a selection of different olive oils and pointing out the varied tastes and qualities.
  10. After the interview offer a Q&A session and stick around to sign books, chat and mingle.

Whatever you decide on don’t forget to promote the occasion prior to the day. Make sure you have a couple of posters to display on the day of the event. Also, be sure to have plenty of business cards, bookmarks or flyers on display. And remember, if you’re planning a visit to another area you can plan ahead and offer an event there too.

Reprinted With Permission, Lynnette Phillips, Book World Marketing 9/18/13

Editor’s note: As a Visionary Fiction author faced with the considerable challenge of writing in an newly emerging genre , what unique techniques have you devised to market your novels?  If you’ve had successful (or not) experiences with book signings, or other marketing, please share with the rest of us in Comments below.

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Lynnette PhillipsWhen Lynnette Phillips thinks marketing, the two focuses uppermost in her mind are 1) be cost effective, 2) be time smart — but but not necessarily in that order. She writes both a book marketing blog and a book blog, besides providing varied author services. She has produced several marketing guides which you can find on Smashwords and Amazon. Please visit her at: http://bookworldmarketing.com or http://lynnettesbookworld.blogspot.com/

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About Saleena Karim

Saleena Karim is the author of the political biography "Secular Jinnah & Pakistan" and the award-winning visionary fiction novel "Systems". She is also a co-founder of the Visionary Fiction Alliance. Her websites are libredux.com and secularjinnah.co.uk.

6 comments on “Book Signings Can Be Boring So Create An Event Instead

  1. Victor E. Smith
    April 29, 2014

    One of my most successful books signings was at a small products fair conducted by our metaphysical church. Since my novels center around reincarnation and our church members are open and curious about a subject I can’t shut up about, there was lots of animated discussion that drew other people to my table. At one point I couldn’t sign faster enough to keep up with the $ being placed on the table. My point: expose your work to a prequalified audience and it’s a lot more fun and profit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretduarte
    May 1, 2014

    Thanks, Lynnette, for your event suggestions. The day will come when I give some of them a shot. I haven’t yet motivated myself to change hats from writer to marketer. However, I did end up doing a book signed quite unexpectedly. I went to a class reunion luncheon, and, was pleasantly surprised (actually, I was shocked) that my classmates came armed with books they had purchased ahead of time for me to sign. What a great feeling. I agree with Victor that a prequalified audience is a big help. Mine happened to be people who have known me since I was a teen, and were open to just about anything. Which was good, because until that day, none of them had heard of visionary fiction. Hopefully vf has gained some fans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • laphillips52
      May 22, 2014

      It sounds like such a fun day and that reminds me of something else I always advocate. It’s important to enjoy your planned event. If you’re not having fun you’ll probably give up.

      Like

  3. Lynnette, thanks for your good suggestions. The idea about niche marketing that is being discussed in the comments seems so crucial. If readers are not targeted, I have come to realize that readers don’t care or don’t have passion about the genre of VF or don’t ‘get’ the genre.

    In answer to the question posed at the end of the post, here are two things I have done to market specific to VF: since many of my novels have a Goddess theme and include a storyline around ancient festivals such as the Celtic celebration of Beltaine (May Day, summer’s fruition), I will post a blog about the history of the holiday and include an excerpt from my novel that relates to Beltaine.

    Another huge thing I have done relates to the themes of my novels : embodied love and the union of inner male and female. I now teach the body of knowledge and spiritual path that my novels align with, as a practical application and extension of my novel’s theme.

    Like

    • laphillips52
      May 22, 2014

      It sounds like you’ve gotten the concept down. Have you been able to attend any festivals for the holiday(s) with your books?

      Like

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