Deltona Authors’ Fair & Building A Local Readership #SundayBlogShare

delt1
Would You Buy a Used Car From This Person?
How About A Book?

I’ve posted my thoughts on building a local readership several times, but once in a while, it seems like a good idea to address it again, especially when I’ve been to an author event like yesterday’s Authors Fair at the Deltona Regional Library. I know it might not be something everyone enjoys as much as I do, but I really think attending local events where you can meet not only readers, but other writers, is a great way to promote your books, and most importantly, yourself.

I stress the importance of promoting yourself, because I have a theory that if readers meet you face to face, and enjoy chatting with you, they are very likely to buy a book or two that you’ve written. If not at the event, then later, for their Kindle, or whenever they are in the mood to go browsing at Amazon. (Of course, you must enjoy chatting with them, as well. They’ll know if you’re faking it.)

It’s not about the sales you make that day, which can be iffy. It’s about the ones that will be coming later, because of the interest generated from your table, and from your sparkling personality. You do have one of those, right?  *grin*  If not, work on it. But remember, everyone sparkles in a different way. Be yourself, be friendly, rather than pushy, and enjoy a laugh or two with those you chat with.

And the importance of meeting other writers, especially local ones, can’t be overstated, for several reasons. First, writers are truly the most  supportive and informative group of people, ever. They are almost always willing to share experience, resources, knowledge, and pretty much anything else connected to the business of writing and marketing books. And, they (mostly) seem to know that their fellow writers are not competition, but rather a cheering section. After all, buying a book isn’t like picking out a sofa. Readers don’t buy one, and then stop. In fact, when readers enjoy a good book, all it does is make them want to read another one, right away.  So, as with most businesses today, networking is a key factor. Author events offer you the opportunity to learn from, and share with, each other.

For instance, yesterday, I found out several very handy and interesting things about subjects as diverse as editing a book already published on CreateSpace, local book clubs, and even (believe it or not), the mask of King Tut! 🙂 And I also learned that my personal presentations and talks of the past year meant that a lot of folks who stopped by  my table had met me before, read at least one of my books, and were looking for more. My Secret Plan is working! My immediate sales were better than I expected, and  online purchases afterward went up, too.

After an event like yesterday, where there were forty authors present, or even after one of my (solo) PowerPoint presentations at local venues, I always see an uptick in sales on Amazon. Even those who don’t purchase a book from me the day of the event, often go home and check out my books online, where they can read the full blurb at their leisure, and see what others have to say, before buying. And this is fine with me. I’ll sell eBooks all day long, and smile with every download.

Finally, let me just (gently) urge you to get away from the computer now and then, so you can meet your readers (and other authors) face to face. You will learn a lot about what folks want from your books, and about how other writers approach the craft.  And best of all, it’s fun!

dougmarciajeanne
Of all the local Meet the Author events I do, none is more fun than an Eco-Tour aboard the Naiad, with a local book club or other group. An afternoon on the St. Johns River is a treat for everyone, and halfway through the two-hour tour, we stop long enough for me to do a reading, then continue the scenic cruise. Back at the marina, I sign books and do some Q&A, and we all go home tired and happy. I have two Eco-tours coming up soon. April 30 and May 27. Call Doug or Jeanne at (386) 626-9004 for reservations. Hope to see some of you there! 🙂

Now it’s your turn. How many of you actively pursue opportunities of this kind? What has worked for you, and what hasn’t? Inquiring minds wanna know!

30 thoughts on “Deltona Authors’ Fair & Building A Local Readership #SundayBlogShare

    • Oh, that sounds like fun, Thorne! I love meeting with book clubs and reading groups, etc. I hope the sun shines for your day, but either way, I bet you’ll have a good time, as will the group, when they meet you. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 I love the idea of a picnic, when the weather cools down in the fall (we’re already having 90+ days here), I might try to figure a way to have one.

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  1. Oh, congratulations!
    and yes, I would buy an used car, or whatever else from you.
    I am glad it went well and the days was a success.sending overseas hugs!
    Carmen

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    • Thanks, Carmen! It was a fun day. And BTW, I have a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser I’ll sell you, CHEAP! 😀
      Now tell me, do you get a chance to meet with readers or writers in your part of the world?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Like a teenaged movie vampire! hahaha. Honestly, Linda, I just love to laugh, and if I can make others laugh at the same time, I’m a happy camper. Of course, sometimes I say something I KNOW is dead funny, and I just get a blank stare in return. Eeep. You can’t win ’em all, I reckon. But if my choices are Fun or Not-Fun, put me down for FUN every time. 😀

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  2. Just back home and catching up a little. Have to say I agree with all you say, Marcia. I love book fairs and it doesn’t matter on the day what the sales are – it’s the crack and meeting new people. Mind you i love talking so I’ll chat with anyone who looks twice at me !! Jx

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    • Oh me, too, Judith! I’m a gabber, for sure. Someone asked me once if I’d come talk to a small group of ten folks, and I told her I’d talk to one guy on a street corner, if he wanted to discuss my book. (Or pretty much anything else.) 😀 But I enjoy both the bigger fairs and the events where I do my slide show, talk about Florida wildlife and writing, and take Q&A at the end. I SO enjoy interacting with an audience about something I love and am comfortable talking about. And I learn from THEM, too. It’s ALL good! Thanks for stopping by tonight, and for sharing the post. Have a great week!

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  3. The best time I’ve had (so far, I plan to do more of this in the coming year) was when a writer friend and I set up a table a couple years ago next to the the Bell, Florida Christmas parade (she lives in Bell). We only sold a few books, but the people who veered over to our table (and they definitely veered!) were such enthusiastic book lovers! We had a blast! (BTW, I’m going to try to make that May 27th Eco Tour! I want to meet you in person. 😀 )

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    • Now there’s an idea I hadn’t thought of. A parade table. I like it, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Who knows how many books you sold afterward. Did you have some freebies to hand out, like maybe bookmarks, so they’d have your name & book title with them to remind them to stop by Amazon? I’ve discovered that’s a HUGE help.

      And I do hope you can make the May tour, but it is 2/3 filled already, so be sure to call for reservations as soon as you know if you can come. The tours are really popular all the time, and not just because I’m going along, but when I do, readers tend to fill them extra quickly. Let me know if you do get a seat! I’m looking forward to meeting you, as well. 🙂

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  4. Reblogged this on Bookin' It and commented:

    I know I’ve been absent a long time, and I apologize for that. This post from The Write Stuff might help explain where I’ve been. Writing four novels in 2-1/2 years has kept me busy, busy, busy, but I’m hoping to get back to reviews again soon. Honest! Thanks for your patience! 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Deltona Authors’ Fair & Building A Local Readership #SundayBlogShare | carsonrenomysteryseries.com

    • I hope you have a wonderful time. Do take something you can leave with folks, if you haven’t done these before. Business cards, at least. Bookmarks, brochures, postcards, etc, are all good, too! Just something so they’ll remember you later. And grab all the goodies you can, too. Sometimes you get some real good ideas that way. Thanks for sharing! Glad you are taking part in local events. It’s always worth it, I think.

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  6. You are such a powerhouse, and great inspiration Marcia. You deserve all the press you get. You’re a wonderful writer and a great supporter of others. Thanks for sharing your great experiences with us. 🙂

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    • Sorry to be so slow in answering this, Deb. Man, the last couple of days have been BUSY!! But thank you so much for such wonderful words. I’m not sure I’m all that inspirational, but I enjoy the heck out of life, and I try to spread some laughter everywhere I go. I figure, it can’t hurt, and it might be just what someone needed at that time.

      There are so many parts of self-marketing that I struggle with (or just plan FLOP at), that I thought I could at least share the ones I do fairly well with. Meeting the public is just such a great time for me, and I’m always wondering who else is getting out there and giving it a try.

      Hope when your life settles down again, you’ll get a chance to do some fun events, too.

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