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Promotional Strategy Discussion > Hosting Live Book Promo Events?

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message 1: by Elayna (new)

Elayna (elaynamae) Posted this in the forum on Inkshares but didn't get any replies, so thought I'd throw it out there to the goodreads crowd!

"So just was curious about what experience - if any - people have had with live, in person events in their area to promote their books to family, friends, and people in their communities? I’ve been itching to do something like this, maybe with a live reading or something, but would love to know if others have tried this before and if it something that works! What did you find worked best for you? Thanks in advance for any input! :D"


message 2: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Huang (christopher_huang) | 73 comments I'm going to guess by the general silence so far that no-one has tried this yet. I just came across the possibility of a future opportunity today, though, so maybe it's something that could happen for me...?

Elayna, if it's something you've been wanting to do, I say go ahead and do it. Be our live event pioneer!


message 3: by A.C. (last edited Mar 02, 2016 11:54AM) (new)

A.C. Weston (acwestonwrites) | 191 comments Mod
Elayna wrote: "Posted this in the forum on Inkshares but didn't get any replies, so thought I'd throw it out there to the goodreads crowd!

"So just was curious about what experience - if any - people have had w..."


Oops, I missed this one! Sorry.

I've done two readings so far. One was an all-me event, where I was the focus of everything. We watched my promo video, did an intro to my book's universe, I did a reading, went through a short Q&A, did a sci-fi trivia contest, and gave away prizes. Jeez, now that I write all that out, it sounds like a lot.

The second was a reading I did through the MN Speculative Fiction Writers group, where there were 10 of us who did 7-minute readings from our books. That one was also very fun and I met a lot of cool local authors.

Both were good experiences to go through, and I learned a lot. First, I learned that my trivia was way too difficult. I need to make it easier next time!
Second, I learned that it needed to be shorter. It wasn't even that long, but people need a break from being a captive audience every 10-15 minutes. The event went probably 45 minutes, and I'm frankly not a big enough deal to take up that much of people's time. They were in it for the $20 gift card that the coffee shop donated as a prize, probably.

In general, the smaller audience really helped at my first event because it was mostly people I knew, not strangers. I was so scared, but the familiar faces helped. Also, having someone else to help organize everything reeeeeeeeeeally helps. You need someone to play off of, someone to introduce you and ask you questions. Someone to tell you everything is going great.

Also, it's good to go around afterward and say hi to everyone who wants to meet you. It's scary, but that's how you make sales. If they want to meet you, let them! Say hi!

As for the reading itself, I'd say don't be afraid to cut down an excerpt from what will be published in your book. If something doesn't make sense in a distracting way, change the writing to explain it or cut it entirely from your reading. You don't have to read an excerpt word for word. The point of a reading is to assure people you are a competent writer, and to get them hooked enough to check out your book. You can do that through emotional weight, an intriguing premise, and/or an awesome cliffhanger.

Also, perform your excerpt at least 2-3 times before the actual reading. Get feedback from people whose opinions you trust. Try to actually perform it, instead of just reading it without any vocal variations or energy.

I think we could come up with a fun "Inkshares Trivia" sort of thing, where different authors hold trivia nights at bars or coffee shops all over the place, with a consistent Inkshares brand but maybe with different questions. I like the idea of questions about books/tv shows/movies that inspired your own book; that's what I did, anyway. People love trivia and they love prizes, so it could be a fun thing for lots of authors to join in on.

Of course, I always have more ideas than I have time, so I haven't tried getting this up and running yet.

...Yet.


message 4: by Mykl (new)

Mykl Walsh (RFSaunders) | 149 comments Elayna, I guess you are talking about something other than traditional bookstore appearances?


message 5: by Elayna (new)

Elayna (elaynamae) Mykl wrote: "Elayna, I guess you are talking about something other than traditional bookstore appearances?"

Yeah, seeing as my book isn't published YET I didn't think it would be wise to approach book stores about an event. But if there's a precedent for that I'd be willing to try!

And Cara, thanks for all the insights. I am definitely in the process of planning an event either at a coffeehouse (where I wrote much of the book) or in one of the lounge spaces of my apartment building. If things pan out, I'll post here with suggestions! Would love if other authors have suggestions as well though. I think creating some kind of Inkshares branded event would be AMAZING. If you need help developing something with that Cara, let me know. I love event planning. ^_^


message 6: by A.C. (new)

A.C. Weston (acwestonwrites) | 191 comments Mod
How am I staring into the distance, thinking to myself, "I see so much of myself in her..." ???

Elayna, YES GIRL, YES. If you have time and you want to chat or brainstorm or even put something together, let's do it! My free time is around negative 15 hours a week these days, so I have not started on anything yet. But perhaps... eventually...


message 7: by Elayna (new)

Elayna (elaynamae) Aww, that means the world coming from you! You're a shining example of how to kick ass on Inkshares! :)

And YO I FEEL YOU on the negative hours per week. I was just looking at my calendar and found myself thinking, "I need to get me a time turner or flux capacitor." But this weekend when I'm working on stuff for my event, I'll see what I can put together to contribute to an Inkshares event model!


message 8: by Mykl (new)

Mykl Walsh (RFSaunders) | 149 comments Elayna wrote: "Yeah, seeing as my book isn't published YET I didn't think it would be wise to approach book stores about an event. But if there's a precedent for that I'd be willing to try!"

Once you have a date of publication, start approaching your local bookstores two to three months before it comes out and try to get a few events scheduled for right after the release.

Great idea to expand on that and do some other events at different locations though! Good luck!


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