Saturday, August 1, 2009

Inspiration for Writers from the Hanover Virginia Book Festival

What events alter your feelings about book signings and book festivals? Think about it. If you don't get hoped for sales, you probably come away discouraged.

Don't.

Sometimes things happen that are better than sales. Things like learning from those around you. Today, I noticed the displays of writers who were attracting a lot of attention and realized they had put a great deal of thought into their displays. They hadn't spent a lot of money on enlarged posters for their tables, but they had brought together items (found or inexpensive) to make an attractive and inviting statement about their books. Those displays inspired me to think ahead and plan for a better display of my own next time out.

Last week, I printed in large, bold fonts a page for each of my novels. These pages told what the story was about, and they created sales. This week, I failed to pick up the bag that held those pages, and I missed them. People are more inclined to buy a copy of Hearts Across Forever if they know a little of the story of the white witch of Rose Hall plantation. Now, I am inspired to always have a page that describes the story in my book.

I have created a series of cards (with envelopes) that feature some of my photographs and paintings from exotic destinations. What better way to advertise the "Passenger to Paradise" books? Today, I gave away a card--the reader chose which one--to those people who purchased a book. I am inspired to create more cards and connect them to book sales.

These thoughts are just the beginning. Much more inspired me today, and I can hardly wait for the next book event! I'm making a list...

Monti
Mary Montague Sikes
www.marymontaguesikes.com

3 comments:

F. M. Meredith, author said...

You're right, it does help to have something to attract readers. Sometimes at book festivals I display one of my Indian dolls to go with my Deputy Tempe Crabtree books.

Lately I've been using a black table cloth decorated with crime scene tape--it does attract people.

I always have cards to give out and a guest book to sign.

Another tip at book fairs and festivals is to stand up and make eye contact with folks. Start a conversation, give them the elevator pitch about your book or books.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
http://fictionforyou.com

Monti said...

Hi Marilyn,

An author had a table with the dark cloth and police tape yesterday. It was far away from me, so I don't know what kind of traffic it attracted.

You are right about standing. I did for most of the time and found it was helpful. I don't have a guest book, but that's a good idea.

Monti
www.marymontaguesikes.com

F. M. Meredith, author said...

I use the guestbook to gather email addresses for my monthly newsletter.

Marilyn