This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in two author events. In person author events are wonderful. I enjoy meeting parents, teachers, children and other authors. I love sharing my books with children and listening to what children have to say about my books, reading and writing. Opportunity to connect with other local authors and learn about their books and other opportunities are another plus. I find that picture book authors are friendly, knowledgeable and willing to help by sharing information.
As many of you know, I am big on being prepared. I think it is my Girl Scout Training. Preparing for an in person author event is not difficult. Each venue is a little different and a few questions will help you know exactly what you need to pack.
- Is the venue providing a table and chair?
- Is the venue providing a tablecloth? It is important to know the size of the table if you are bringing a tablecloth.
- Does the venue have free wifi access available for authors? This is key if you are selling books.
- Where should you park? Arrival time to set up?
- How many will be attending? This will help you decide how many books to bring.
- Is there a website or flyer they would like you to use for sharing the news on social media.
What do you need to bring
- Pens/ Sharpies – for signing books
- Water and snack
- Candy or treats for children
- Poster Board with your photo and photos of the book. It adds to the professional look of your table.
- Newsletter sign up sheet – great for building your email list
- A way to collect money – Paypal, Venmo or Square and a cash box with change.
There are a number of items not listed above, but I think this checklist does a great job of filling in the gaps. I did not think about some of the items mentioned on the checklist so it was very helpful for me.
- Arrive early and give yourself time to set up your table
- Greet parents and children as they arrive at your table
- Hand out business cards or bookmarks with your website and links to your books
- Make genuine, friendly conversation with attendees. Try not to give them the hard sell
- Be sure to connect and share contacts with other authors.
- Share coloring pages and other materials that children can take home.
Life happens and no one may come to the event. It happens to us all. It helps to prepare yourself for the possibility to avoid disappointment. Use the time to mingle with other authors. Don’t sit there and pout!
After the event
- Thank you’s are always appropriate for the host.
- Follow up with customers and touch base with the other authors
- Be sure to add your new subscribers to your email list.
- Evaluate what worked well and what you will change next time.
What worked well
This library event was one of the best I have attended. We were asked to arrive an hour early for a light dinner. This was a very nice touch. We had plenty of time to set up and to meet other authors. It was great to meet other children’s authors.
The coloring sheets and lollipops were a big hit with the children. I gave away a number of bookmarks for both my books. My bookmarks have my webpage and links to the books. There has been more traffic to my website since the event. I have heard that many people order the books after the event. Fingers crossed!
I enjoyed talking to children. Two children told me that they owned the book or read it in school. They told me what their favorite parts of the book were and what they liked and didn’t like about the characters. It is always great to get a child’s perspective.
Offering a Countdown to the Holidays Sale was very successful. I offered the book with the free Readers Guide and explained that the book plus the guide will make a great holiday gift for any classroom teacher.
I created a poster board to advertise my book, this brought people over to the table. Those that did not have a poster board did not have as much traffic. I highly recommend the poster board.
Talking with other authors I found that there are a few more of these author events in the spring and other opportunities to share and sell books. I can’t wait.
Things I would change
Engaging parents and children more in conversation about what they like to read. There were 20 authors and I did not want to monopolize their time. I would like to show them more from each of the books and point out the great illustrations. I would invite them to join my newsletter even if they did not purchase a book. The more events I attend, the more I learn and apply.
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 updates and it is now interactive. There are surprises everywhere. Click on the balloons and see where they take you. Can you find two writing videos? Freebies? A chocolate chip recipe? There’s even a special freebie to anyone who subscribes to my newsletter. Check out the resources for children, parents and teachers, librarians and homeschooling families.
Please consider purchasing a copy of Two Wins for Wiley or Gertie Saves the Dayfor gifts. If you are going to a baby shower, birthday party or thinking about books for summer reading. 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. One of the best gifts I can think of is a book!
A request …
You can really help this author by leaving a book review on Amazon or Goodreads. You can leave a review for Gertie Saves the Day here or here. Two Wins for Wiley here or here. Reviews can be as easy as 2-3 sentences. It should take about 30 seconds to leave and would make a huge difference for me. Need help writing a review? Click here.