I’ve had exactly two moments of interacting with book-goers while being an author. One was at my own signing at a local coffee house. The other was at the South Dakota Book Festival a couple of weeks ago. When I thought of it, initially, I was more than a little nervous. As far as extroverted people go, I am not one that falls delicately into that category. In a typical setting, I’ll be the one listening to your conversation, taking in the scene, contemplating what I want to watch on Netflix when I get home and into my comfy pants.
In situations like the book festival though, I turn off that annoying chatter and focus on the people there. I love readers and if I could, I’d talk to all of them that walked by my table. I certainly tried (staying cautiously cool and not pouncing like a car salesman) and in most cases succeeded. Look at me all relaxed…
…despite all the red arrows and squigglies surrounding me.
A few things I took away from the experience (much in thanks to my wife’s help):
- People love free candy, hell, free anything. Whatever draws their attention to take another second before passing you. If they pause enough to look at your book cover(s), they might pick it up and read the back or better yet, ask you what your book is about.
- Table decor helps draw attention from further away.
- Giveaways are a great method to getting people to stop, although – this can backfire if people would rather wait to see if they win instead of buying it right then & there. But if they’re half on the fence anyhow…
- Have a good two-sentence synopsis of your book. (I think I was asked 40 times what my book was about and another 40 asking who is Carter Gabel)
- Have short, concise answers to some major questions about your book(s) like – genre, suitable ages, similar books, pertinent info
- Shwag is good. Falls under the free category, but if you have bookmarks, put your social media info on there and possibly a list of your works
I met some great people at the Book Festival. Four new author friends and an editor. Given how small of a venue I was at, I was happy to know there was another RC author in my similar Indie World! I listed some of my take-homes from my new author friends who (coincidentally) I’ll get to see at Utopia in Nashville this June! Click on a pic to learn more!
Proof,… see? I got my own!
What’s everyone reading??