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Workshop: Setting the Scene for Book Promotions

Workshop: Setting the Scene for Book Promotions; Economical Tips and Advice
Date: Jan. 25-Mar. 15, 2009
Host: Debra Owsley of Simply Said Reading Accessories
Debra will be available for live question and answer sessions, each night 10-11pmEST.

Summary: How authors and poets can create cost effective and eye catching promotions, while on a tight starving artist budget.

5 Resolutions
Creating Simple Ambiance
Tips And Tricks On A Budget
Low Cost Giveaways
Building Your Mailing List
Social Networking

What is going to make you stand out at a book festival or book event, when everybody is also selling books too? Creating a table display… Sounds simple right, throw a few books on a table and sit there and you’ll sell out in an hour right? Sorry, this thought process is wrong...

In addition to creating reading accessories for authors, I also create themes and display ideas for them. Creating an eye catching display and layout will do half the work, of trying to get people to your table or booth. When I do book events, I try to have a theme, or find out what the event theme is so everything pulls together.

The object of the game is to draw people in, made you look! If you are a romance author, bring some romance with you and create some ambiance!

Have a suitcase filled with props and tools to make your signing, table or booth extraordinary. Create layout and a theme and all the props you need to create an intimate setting. Is your book romance or erotica? Create a scene from you book. Add rose petals and wineglasses etc.

Create an audio or a podcast recording of you reading the scene your showing. If it’s a part with a male, get a guy with a deep sexy voice to read the scene with you. Add a sound track of music that also helps tell the story. They will hear and feel the passion in your voice and the in the music. The music will set the tone and era of your book.

Add a commercial to your soundtracks, inviting them to your sites and social networks. Have a DVD player, or laptop playing your trailer, soundtrack, and commercial. Take extra batteries, buying electricity is expensive at festivals. This very same recording if done well can be used on your web, as radio commercials, and on your social sites. Do one with only audio and one with audio and trailer. It also makes a wonderful, inexpensive gift with purchase item.

Investing in a banner and a table cloth with you name on it, is a wise investment. Using your name or company will carry your BRAND through your writing career. Use bright colors, it draws the eyes to you and attracts people. Keep in mind you color choices because they will be used over and over. Also if you have several books keep your name and brand as the banner and tablecloth focus not current book. Have posters created for your books.

Once you get their attention make your pitch, #1 SMILE! Greet people. Put the book in their hands!I have seen many authors do this and they sell more than those who just point to them or hold it themselves Keep your sales pitch to 2 to 3 minutes at best, because that’s most peoples attention span, especially if you are at a book festival . Bookmark a scene you know will capture their attention.

Don’t sit or stand behind the table, get out there and mingle. If you are shy, the props and setups will draw people to you. They also can start conversions, about your book. Get a street team Bring a street team to be your cheerleaders, they will help pass out fliers and manage the crowds. Don’t talk to them all day… talk to your guests.

Show enthusiasm; I want you to be as happy to see me as I am to see you and my $$$. Atmosphere and attitude is everything. Wear a TEE-SHIRT with your book title, name and site information.

Share with another author team up Erotica, passion party, a cook book, lingerie or a companion product. Share the crowd and the costs. Caution children will be around do not be explicit, you can also offend people, be classy.

Take those extra book covers you have and turn them into booklets with excerpts and contact info and an order sheet.

Have them sign a guest book. This builds your mailing list. Send a Thank You Note, after the event for coming, and what’s coming up from you; add a ½ mark and a book plate. Make notes next to their name so you remember them. EX.. Book club, reader, etc. Run a monthly contest, this is another way of collecting information, and staying in contact after the event.

Giveaways are also a great way to encourage readers to stay in contact. Visit other booths and book signings to see what they do take notes, listen to what the fans are saying
Just perfecting these tips will save you time and money, I have what I call a go box that is ready to go when I am with all the display materials need to set up wherever I am. When you get home re-stock so you’re ready to go at the drop of a hat. Remember to be able to display vertically and horizontally.

Trust me, I started my business to support my book habit, I am first and foremost a bookaholic, and as a fan I know what WE like.

Simply Said Reading Accessories
Email address:

About Debra Owsley
Debra Owsley turned her love for reading and her hobby to support her book habit, into a reading accessory and consulting business. Debra works with several major authors, and book stores creating unique gift-marks, book thongs and creative displays promoting literary.
She loves working at book events and book festivals, meeting authors, readers and Book clubs
Debra loves to travel to book festivals all over the country, read, dance, and discussing books with friends and great food. She is also the Literary Director for EDC-Creations.

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  1. As usual Debra you have all the bases covered. This is a very informative piece. I especially like the information about the suitcase of props. Many authors leave this important piece out of their presentation. Aesthetics can make or break you. Having a visually appealing set up can work wonders.

    Cheryl Lacey Donovan

  2. Thank You Cheryl!! I love doing book festivals and I see those who do great displays, get more attention. I love making my table or booth exciting so people will come and look! Once your there, I have a chance to make a sale.


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