Advice from Experience

I just did a book signing yesterday at a local town celebration and I did better than Fan Fest in Chicago, and Comic Con in Milwaukee. Not by much, but still better.

Win!

I also spent less on participating because it was local.

Win, Win!

I think my take away from this is to find festivals in your area that allow you to purchase a booth and make sure to let people know you’re a local, either through a sign or by telling them. I think it helped that one of my books is based out of a local town. A lot of people’s eyes lit up when I said that.

Another thing I learned: when you make an event on Facebook, and you get a good number of people “interested” in your event, expect the actual number of attendees to be more like 10% to 25% of that number. It makes it incredibly difficult to know just how many people to expect, but you definitely shouldn’t expect them all.

It’s possible that the attendance was down at this event because people were still cleaning up after last weekend’s tornadoes and thunderstorm devastation. If I hadn’t signed up to do this book event, I would have stayed home too.

If you’re a writer reading this post, just remember that you might not sell a lot of books at these events, but getting out there, and letting people know who you are and what your books are about is worth it. Think of it as marketing. (I hate marketing, but this is a more hands on way to do it where people can’t really ignore you and your “advertising” like they can with online ads. )

Start small to get yourself used to things. I started at two parades where I asked local businesses if I could set up a table outside their stores. It was free, so it was a good place to begin.

Oh, and every business card handed out is a good thing too.

Make sure you interact with people! Don’t wait for them to come to you to ask what your book is about. Engage them. If you see them looking in your general direction, ask them “Would you like to hear about my book?” Nine times out of ten, they’ll say yes. They might not buy it, but there’s a better chance they will if they know what it’s about.

Good luck!

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