In Real Life Events: the setup

IRL Events Continued

A couple of weeks ago we talked about doing IRL events, like signings, talks, and conventions. Now let’s look at what exactly you’ll need for setup. So let’s begin.

 

What Do You Need?

First you need your setup. This includes things like a tablecloth, runners, signs, banners, a candy bowl, bookmarks, business cards, etc. Let’s take a closer look from here.

Your table setup is super important. It’s what makes you look professional and grabs people’s eye. So make it eye catching while still getting info across. Post excerpts and ads to merchandise for example. Prop up your books on stands as it’s more visually appealing. Show your name off with something like a runner or a banner. Consider making an author logo and/or a series logo for your books to put on your runner or banner. Here’s an example of my signing table at my last event. I often have a sign for my bio with my links on where people can find me online as well as an ad for my merchandise. I do have a runner with my author logo as well. Take a look.

20190119_125728

Your handler is the most important thing you’ll need. This person plays a pivotal role. Not only of an assistant to keep the show running smooth, but they will also keep you calm when you’re a bundle of nerves, take photos of you during the event and with your fans, handle the nitty gritty things like collecting the money for your books while you talk to the fans and sign books, and run interference if anything is derailing you. They are also great for talking you and your story up to people who are unsure whether they want to buy. 

You’ll also need things for sales. Change for cash and even a counterfeit pen to check the money coming in. Receipt paper for those who want a receipt. A credit card reader works wonders in this day and age where many don’t carry cash, and they are easy to operate. And a record book to keep track of your sales. 

Other things you may need are things to entice people to your table. Bring cookies or have a candy bowl. Have prizes or swag either to give away or sell. There are lots of different Print on Demand sites where you can have merchandise made. It will draw people over to your table and get them to ask questions about your book. Consider holding a raffle for a prize or two. The prizes could be something as simple as a notebook or coffee mug. Or even a t-shirt. Keep in mind though that you need to make sure you have the right license on your images for your cover before you make merchandise. Otherwise it may cause you legal trouble.

 

Finally, have what you need to make yourself comfortable. An extra sweater to keep yourself warm, something to drink to keep you hydrated and awake if need be, and snacks to keep your blood sugar up. 

 

Now you’re all ready for your IRL events! Happy signings!

Check me out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for memes and weekly prompts!

 

Advertisements

COVER REVEAL!

Welcome to the big reveal for Heavenfire! Without further ado, here it is!

HeavenfireRecreated-WRAP-2

There’s so much I love about this cover. That the fire looks like wings, which follows the theme we had for the cover of Angelborn. And the colors are amazing! My cover designers did such a fabulous job with this, and I’m so happy with the results.

If you’re interested in learning more about Heavenfire, here’s the blurb:

A divine sword, magic tomes, and uncontrolled power. Can 16-year-old Ginny Gracehurst keep them from an obsessed half-demon?

After retrieving the only thing that could set Jacob’s demon father free, half-angel Ginny has a new mission. She and Aiden are charged with collecting the Eternal Tomes, which teach how to use sigils in the Angelic Tongue.

They are in a race against Jacob and his minions, who can travel anywhere in a matter of seconds. Allowing demonkind to learn those sigils would spell disaster for them all. In order to get what he wants, Jacob needs one more thing besides the Tomes—Ginny herself.

Preorder today for the discounted price at OWS Ink!

In the meantime, happy writing!

Julia

Find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for memes, fun pins, and weekly prompts.

In Real Life Events

In Real Life Events

Being an author is more than just writing our stories. We have to get ourselves and our books out there. A lot of that happens online, but you shouldn’t ignore events that you can do in real life. We talked about book signings last time, but let’s look at some other things you can do.

 

Talks

Now talks are great to do as a way to draw people to your event more so than just by your name or claim (or lack) to fame. I talked about book signings in my last post, so I won’t get too into this here.

Talks are great for advertising purposes. Instead of just saying, “Hey, come meet a local author you’ve never heard of and buy their book!” a talk says something more like, “Learn the different routes to publishing and why an ISBN is important.” Which one is going to appeal more to people? So advertise your event as a talk where they will receive valuable info from you to get them in the seats. And after you give your wonderful talk, they may just stick around to buy some books.

If you attract other writers with your talk, they may not buy your book if they are not your intended audience, but they will know your book’s name and tell others who are your audience. And they may recommend your book to those others they know who like your genre. 



Book Signings

Book signings can be a bit intimidating. They can be a lot like cold calling in sales. You set up your table and hunker down in the store, praying to snag the attention of those walking by. For any introvert, it can be nightmarish. But they can also be a great success. Let’s look at some tips.

If this is like cold calling, get your foot in the door with some help. Have someone introduce you. Whether this is an employee who works at the store you are signing in or your handler. Having someone say something like, “Still need a Christmas present? We’ve got a local author signing personalized copies of her book. They make great gifts,” will get people to come to your table and start asking about your book. Have your pitch ready to give, and you just may get some sales.

If this is a book signing you set up that is all about you, and not just you sitting in a store or cafe, then I really recommend doing a reading before you start signing. You want to hook the people there with a great excerpt so they are chomping at the bit to buy your book.

 

Release Parties

When your book comes out, it’s something to celebrate. Planning a release party is a great way to celebrate your accomplishment, but also get your book out to family and friends. Let’s face it, a lot of the people we know are lazy. They don’t want to actually go to a website and click on things to buy your book. And they would rather have it signed and personalized by you. So make it easy for them to support you by hosting a release party where they can buy your book and get it personalized. This will incur some costs, but you have to spend money to make money. Recruit help from friends and family to diy as much as possible when it comes to things like food and decorations. Rent a hall or do a backyard bbq. Set up a signing table and a pretty place to take pictures. And get help. This event is for you, so you don’t want to be stressed making sure everything is perfect and be unable to enjoy your own party. 

 

Conventions

Conventions are a great place to sell your books. That’s a major point of them in the first place. And they are full of readers looking to pick up their next new favorite. So you can do extremely well at the right cons. Make sure you write in the genre that is represented at the con, and that you have your handler. They will help you with sales and also manning the table so you can do things like go to the bathroom. Most cons will have an estimate of how many attendees they will have, so you can get a good gauge of how many books you should carry. Have bookmarks and business cards for people to take even if they don’t buy a book. Put important links on there, like your website or where they can buy your book.

 

Workshops/Writing Groups

Instead of a talk, you may choose to do something like run a workshop or writing group. This requires some effort on your part as you have a lot of planning and prep and you have to lead the event. But these can be great fun and really rewarding as you help other authors out.

First, plan what your event will look like. Will you start with a talk? Then move onto writing prompts? Using writing prompts is the best way to get your participants writing. But you will also need to talk about what good critique looks like and how to take critiques like staying silent and not defending yourself. Set up rules before you begin.

Keep track of time. Give them 15 to 20 minutes to write from the prompt and then allot time from there depending on how much time you have for the workshop. Provide plenty of pens and paper for participants, and if you can make the prompts on handouts they can take with them, even better.

And remember, these events are not about you. Yes, you can talk about your books after the workshop, but make the workshop valuable for the participants and not just you talking about you.

 

Next week we have an interview, but after that we will talk about the nitty gritty details of what you’ll need to set up for these events, so stay tuned.