3-7 Organize a Live Book Event

To celebrate, mark the publication of a new book on its publication date, and kick off sales, it is appropriate to create live book launch events.

Book launch parties, book tours and book signings are much less common as a source of book sales than they once were. Unless you have an active publicity campaign, it is hard to get enough people to a bookstore signing to make it a good sales opportunity. The author has a better chance at generating sales giving a talk or seminar with back-of-the-room sales there.

A local independent bookstore provides the best chance of a book signing, and you can call the store manager to let him or her know about the book and its potential to bring customers into the store.

Another way to create some launch buzz is to host a fund-raising event so that a portion of the proceeds from the book go to a non-profit. Have some fun at the events surrounding the book’s launch. The author (and everyone around him or her) has worked hard to create the book, and deserves to celebrate that accomplishment. Back of the room selling opportunities take place before and after the author speaks at an event. This is one of the main ways authors profitably sell books. Creating as many of these opportunities as you can is part of the marketing of the book.

Book Event Checklist

To make sure you prepare and don’t miss an important element, make a checklist for book events that includes:

  • quantity to be shipped and where and when
  • consignment form ( see section 2-13)
  • customized order forms with special event pricing
  • collateral materials you will need (posters, sell sheet, postcards, etc.)
  • mailing labels to ship back extra books or promotional materials
  • the virtual terminal for credit cards (with your laptop and Internet connection ability) if you will be taking credit card numbers directly.

Especially if the author speaks at an event he or she did not host, check the policies of the event sponsor.

Some sponsors take a fee or percentage of the sales, while others consider this a form of payment for non-paid speaking events. So if you have an audience of 2,000, and the author is a keynote speaker, or the book topic is targeted to exactly this audience, you would be doing very well to sell 100 books. This may sound like a very low number, but if you exceed expectations, you can carry order forms to ship books later.

Book Expo America/Frankfurt Book Fair

Every year there are major book events around the world intended to help publishers show off their new books to retailers like bookstores and other booksellers.

These can be great places to meet new author clients for you, but they are not good places for self published authors to sell books. The booksellers only place orders with major publishers with distribution and many self publishers come each year only to leave with no bookstore orders. To learn more about BEA, download the piece below.

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