Sure your publicist is going to invite her media contacts and pitch the event to the community at large before and after the event. The bookseller is going to alert their patrons, and special friend phone tree, but you must promote this event, too.
The #1 complaint I receive from bookstores, churches, festivals and bookclubs regarding booking authors at an event is that the author does little promotion of the event. I love my author friends and DGP teammembers. They are great souls who are not accustomed to this shift in artist as business owner yet. No problem. Here are five tips to help you and them promote your next local book event:
- Make a flyer of the event and submit it to an eblast service. Here in Atlanta Yalanda Lattimore's Dryer Buzz is a great online Atlanta event media hub that authors, artists and businesses can use to promote their event. Local news feeds pick up these events as well.
- If you can, visit the site three days before the event. Bring bookmarks to be placed on the counter. Bookstore staff will put the bookmarks in patrons bags reminding them of the event.
- Host a giveaway that ties into the store a neighboring store. Host a giveaway to the next hottest movie in the nearby mall, or a free cheesecake at the instore Starbucks, or a free manicure at the local nail shop. Set this giveaway table in front of the store or at the entrance to driver passserbys inside.
- Take a fishbowl to the store and giveaway a free book and lunch with the author. Provide slips of paper or your book business cards for patrons to write their name & contact info on. Do the drawing before the event and contact the winner, so they can eat with you after or before the event, preferably before.
- Invite your favorite local bookstore for coffee at the bookstore site or nearby. Mobilize this group to promote your event with free Arcs or free books or free coffee. Get them invested in your success.
- And a bonus tip. Make a short viral evite for your family to pass onto their family and friends via facebook.
Dee Stewart is a bookseller, multimedia journalist, novelist, publicist and now talk show host. She is also inspirational book reviewer for Romantic Times Magazine, Atlanta Satellite Bookseller for The Mocha Bookstores, and owner of Christian Fiction Blog. Her writings have appeared in: Spirit Led Woman, Gospel Today, Advanced Christian Writer, Atlanta Christian Family, Mosaic Literary, Precious Times, Vertical Fix just a few. In 2009 she will begin hosting book marketing coaching sessions for Christian artists. Follow her on Twitter at DeeGospel. Or visit her site at www.deestewart.com.Don't forget every Tuesday at 8pm EST join Dee and her gal pal, EIC of Good Girl Book Club Magazine, Marina Woods on Media Candy. It's a current events talk radio show discussing book publishing, media, and Christian entertainment from a progressive Christian point of view.