It is not very often that I get to attend two in person author events in the same month. Last weekend, my local independent bookstore hosted my Story Time and Book Signing. I love reading to children and watching their faces as I turn each page. There are always quiet children and you can see their enjoyment on their faces. Then there are a few who will tell you exactly what characters and parts in the book they liked and what they did not like. I think I learn as much from the children as they learn from my stories. Often when I am listening to children, I get ideas for new stories. In person author events, for me, are one of my favorite parts of being an author.
This author event was held in a local Independent bookstore, Tiny Raccoon Books. It has been open for several months and has become a cornerstones of that community. The bookstore is a welcoming space for both authors and readers, a spot for like-minded people to gather and exchange ideas. It’s a place where local self-published authors can connect with and promote their books during book signings and events.
Preparing for an in person author event is not difficult. You first need to contact the owner of the bookstore. I always go in person to meet the owner of the bookstore. I bring a folder with copies of my books, my sales page, and copies of the activities sheets that I would be sharing.
You will need to agree on a day and time for your event. It is also important to discuss the consignment agreement. What percentage of the sales will you receive? What percentage will the bookstore receive? When and how will you get paid?
We discussed using a flyer on our social media to advertise the event. From our social media posts Newsday, our local newspaper, the Sayville Patch and the Fire Island News promoted the event as well. We also talked about the space where the story time would be held. The Tiny Raccoon Bookstore has a beautiful front window with seating and a carpet was provided for the children.
What do you need to bring
There are a few items that you need to think about bringing to your event. First, and most important, are copies of your books. I brought 20-25 copies. Remember to bring pens with you for signing books. I like to personalize my signing with a special sentence or two.
My bookmarks are like business cards. I pass them out to adults and/or children wherever I go. I brought a bunch of bookmarks with me. Copies of the coloring page and activities, my game materials, my author poster board and the newsletter sign up sheet were packed and ready to go.
Before the event day, I practiced reading the book aloud. Practicing helps me with my pacing. I had a plan for the event. I gave myself an hour to read the story aloud, talk about the book, answer questions from the children, play the game, give out the activity sheets and start signing books. By arriving early you can get yourself set up and be ready to greet parents and children as they arrive.
Life happens and no one may come to your event. It happens to us all. It helps to prepare yourself for the possibility to avoid disappointment. Use the time to check out the bookstore. You may find some inspiration for your next book.
After the event
After the event I always sent a thank you note. A simple note to the bookstore owner may keep the door open for future events. If you promised any of the patrons materials or information you should follow up with that as soon as possible. I have a Reader’s Guide and I sent it off to several parents. If any one signed up for your email list, be sure to add their information to your email list. Finally, I like to evaluate what worked for me and what I would like to change for the next event.
While the attendance and sales for this event were less that stellar, I am glad to have had the opportunity to share my books. Heavy rains and flash flooding have dampened a number of events this fall. In my eyes, this event was a success because this was the first story time and book signing I planned from beginning to end. I learned a great deal from the experience. I hope that you find this post helpful and that your next event is successful.
With gratitude …
I am so glad you’re here. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am grateful that I can share my writing journey with you. It is an endless journey of learning and growing. A journey that I am enjoying.
I am now booking author visits for the 2023 -2024 school year. If you are a classroom teacher, teacher assistant, Parent Teacher Association President, or After school Director I can work with you to create a visit that will meet the needs of your students. Please contact me to book your visit.
My website has been updated. There are surprises everywhere. Click on the balloons and see where they take you. Can you find two writing videos? New Freebies? A chocolate chip recipe? There’s even a special freebie to anyone who subscribes to my monthly newsletter. I have a number of resources for children, parents and teachers that librarians and homeschooling families can download and use.
A Call to Action …
Please consider purchasing a copy of Two Wins for Wiley or Gertie Saves the Day for gifts. If you are going to a baby shower, birthday party or thinking about holiday gifts, a book is the perfect gift. Consider buying a book for a teacher. Classroom libraries need books. It is my wish to get as many books as I can into the hands of children. Children need to hear all kinds of stories. Please help me spread the word.