5 Tips for Organizing an Author Event

A major component of any author’s book marketing campaign should involve author appearances. In-store events offer authors a chance to network, meet and greet their fans, and sell and sign their books. Before scheduling any appearances, you should always ensure that you have a professional presentation both on and offline. We also recommend having materials such as media kits, author headshots, and social media content to help organize, promote, and drive traffic to the store.

If you need help organizing your author events, our book marketing experts offer these 5 tips!

1) Consider the Weather 

Weather can be impossible to predict, of course, and this can make planning ahead tricky. However, if you live in an area with consistently harsh winters, it’s a good idea to avoid those months when many potential customers may be stuck inside. No matter how strong your author’s book, only the most dedicated fans will risk heading out in a snowstorm!

2) Think About Day of the Week

Different areas and different authors do better on different days of the week. For example, Sundays can be very busy for bookstores in one town, but not at all in other communities. Some authors can easily draw a crowd on a Friday night, while others may not tempt their audience away from their end-of-the-workweek rituals. We suggest simply asking the bookstore what day of the week and time of day is busiest for them.

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3) Consider Proximity to the Holiday Season

Another factor to consider is the proximity to the holiday season—both before and after it. Bookstore appearances are often highly successful in December, when customers are in gift-buying mode. Signings in January can go either way, however; children and teens may have gift cards and Christmas money to spend, whereas adults may be observing a tighter budget. Weather may also play a factor in January, as previously mentioned. Be sure to evaluate your demographic and the climate when setting up events early in the New Year.

4) Think About Other Holidays

Whenever possible, plan your author appearance around a holiday for which your audience may be shopping. Instead of featuring a women’s fiction author around Father’s Day, highlight an author with a book that Dad will enjoy. If summer holidays are approaching, set up events for your author with a sunny beach read. Try to avoid long weekends when people travel away—unless the appearance is in a tourist town that will be hopping. And we suggest avoiding events on days such as Remembrance Day or Veteran’s Day, when the focus is on more somber subject matter.

5) Partner with Other Promotional Opportunities

If you’re able to link your author appearance with a pre-existing event at a bookstore, even better! For example, some large chain stores host Book Fairs, where a portion of proceeds is donated to a local school that becomes involved in the event. If a charity about which your author is passionate or with a theme related to their book is holding a fundraiser, see if they would be open to involvement; most won’t say no to the opportunity for extra draw and promo!

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Do you arrange events and appearances for your authors? When do you find them most successful?

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