They are funny, I promise!

I’ve been to a few author events where authors were able to meet and greet and hopefully sell books. Some were at book stores, some at libraries, some at parks and some in my home town.
I’ve found that this is not my forte. The people who do well are able to pull people into their booth by calling out to passers-by. They have some catchy phrase that draws people in. I’m terrible at that. I always hope that people will be interested in romantic comedies and come on over, but that doesn’t seem to be a great strategy either. Most people I chat with must feel sorry for me because one of their comments usually is something along the lines of ‘I don’t read.’
My sister and I were joking that maybe the best strategy is to talk people’s ear off, so that they buy something to get away. Ha!
I always collect literature from other writers for a friend who does an author program at our local library. It gives me a chance to get away from my table and I’m met some awesome writers that way. I feel bad when I can’t buy their books right away, especially when I’m trying to come out ahead at the event.
I’ve been to The Festival of Faith and Writing as a reader a couple times. It is held every two years at Calvin College, celebrating many forms of writing from novels to poetry to songwriting to plays and nonfiction. It’s so fascinating to hear the authors talk about their processes and their research. It’s the only large convention I’ve been to and it didn’t have the after parties that some of the conventions do.
I was able  to attend a speech by Elie Wiesel while I was a student as part of this convention which was a good reminder of how simple it is to be a writer… you just have  to write.

And then there were all the books that were available to buy… oh dear! My credit card cried.

Attending book conventions as an author is not my favorite, but as a reader with an unlimited credit card (and unlimited time to read)… sign me  up.

What strategies have helped you make an author event a success?

About Joselyn

SAHM writing romance with at a case of the giggles. Former librarian. Avid reader. Runner.
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4 Responses to They are funny, I promise!

  1. jeff7salter says:

    I’m not very good at drawing in the reluctant passers-by either.
    Excellent point about trying to come out ahead (financially). When you factor in the travel expense, time, and effort — plus the rental for the table and purchase of give-a-way items or promo material — it could take MANY sales just to break even. But if you wander about and purchase $150 worth of other authors’ books… well, you’re in the hold again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m afraid that I have never been good at touting my wares. When it came to food, I could let people sample and gee whiz, they had some idea from walking in and what they saw. I can’t imagine sitting at a table trying to talk someone into buying my book, telling enough of the story, trying to twist an arm.
    I also can’t imagine being at a library event with the local writers because I have sampled their wares and we have not anything in common…’common’ being the key term for the stories that people here publish. ( Even a book by a local, famous, well-spoken, well-dressed, seemingly gentlemanly, elderly former judge that I thought I might enjoy made me drop it right out of my hand while reading one story in it, and I was alone in my own home!)
    Yes, wouldn’t unlimited books and time be great? But then, would we be US? We become what we experience…but then, we can experience BOOKS!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think drawing people in and chatting with strangers would be difficult.


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    It’s hard to stand there and smile while people just pass you by, isn’t it? I usually have lots of giveaways. People come for those and we chat. But they still don’t buy.


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