Written for Where Writers Win
Spring is just around the bend, at least says the daylight savings calendar, and that means here comes book festival season, a great way to get your books in front of readers, but just one way…
We Love Book Festivals!
Pretty much from now through November, you can find a festival every weekend somewhere around the country. And our Winner Circle has an interactive calendar of festivals and conferences, listing hundreds of dates and places where authors can pitch to be presenters.
It’s a chance to meet your fans and potential readers LIVE and IN PERSON… and a chance no author should miss whenever possible.
Other Ways to Connect to Readers
But book events, while obviously catering to a niche market of READERS (and we love book events for it!) aren’t the only live game in town. Consider your local or regional calendar (visit tourism bureaus for example) and find other shows/events that may draw interest from potential readers.
Real Life Examples
Here are just a few of the many ways clients we know have gone about making new live connections. Please feel free to share yours with us, too and let’s give everyone some “outside the book festival” ideas!
- Shown above, author Millie West poses with her publicist (and regular WWW contributor) Lynda Bouchard at the Southern Women’s Show in Savannah, Georgia. So: men’s shows, women’s shows, men’s groups, women’s groups; there are plenty of each in every city in the country.
- Western and historical fiction author McKendree Long is also a gun collector, and discovered that exhibiting his books with his own guns collection at gun shows made for a perfect fit. Mike says, “It gives the spouses dragged along for the ride something to buy, too!” Does your book tie into a passion or hobby that people gather at events/shows to talk about?
- The Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts (LILA) connects authors, poets and aspiring word artists in the community. While they conduct plenty of their own events, they’re also making a move to have a booth at the weekly farmer’s market in Charleston. Says LILA president Marjory Wentworth, “It gives us a chance to reach out to the community who’s not already attending book and library events and let them know about all the literary happenings right in their own city.” Farmers markets have become fabulous outlets to connect in the community; booths/stalls are typically very reasonable, and organizers look for other vendors that can provide “more” than just local food offerings. That’s why you’ll see so many jewelry and soaps and other handcrafted items at markets. Why not books?
- Author Lynne Marie, whose fiction deals with fun history that includes pirates, has done book signings at pirate festivals, historical sites and museums – a great way to meet new readers and offer visitors, who are typically tourists, an easy and inexpensive memento of their visit. Does your work tie in to any local or nearby tourist attractions?
- While political thrillers might not find much attention at a political rally, what about tying into a charity event. Author Cash Kushel did just that, debuting his new novel Sense of Direction at a local country club cancer benefit. With a portion of proceeds going to the charity, Cash drew both interest in and good will towards his new release and himself as an author. There’s no better win-win than to tie in to the cause-giving movement. Companies everywhere are branding themselves by sponsoring charitable organizations, donating a portion of proceeds to related charities, etc. So can you…
Show and Tell
Okay! Your turn – What’s the coolest, wildest, weirdest, biggest or best non-traditional book event you’ve sold books at? What were the results?
NOTE: Publicist Lynda Bouchard (yes, the same publicist pictured above) couldn’t resist sending us this tongue-in-cheek cartoon… and we couldn’t resist sharing it with you!