January 15, 2018

Advice on Planning an Author Event

Last fall, a new book store opened in my hometown, Lexington, Kentucky.  I went to the grand opening and was totally impressed.  Brier Books is located in a convenient area close to downtown.  When you go inside, you feel like you've found a special place for books.  The interior is warm and bright and the layout of the building invites you from room to room.

At the grand opening, the co-owner and I chatted about the possibility of having an author event.  She was interested!  Several months later we met to discuss the details. After an hour, we had laid the groundwork for "Happy Tails Craft and Story Time."

Listed below are suggestions that can help you plan an author event, too.
  • Meet with the owner at the bookstore or for coffee.
  • Wait on business chat. Get to know the owner.
  • Get down to business. Chose a date and time.
  • Come up with a catchy title for the event.
  • Partner with a nonprofit organization and donate part of the proceeds.
  • Communicate with the manager of non-profit to decide her role.
  • Discuss an advertising plan.
  • Design an eye-catching invitation for social media and an email list.
  • Discuss book ordering.
  • Determine the percentage of proceeds that will be donated.
  • Find out about the space and set-up arrangements.
  • Plan the details of the event (reading, signing, games, craft)

Begin working on your plan several months in advance.  Gather art materials and have them prepped in such as way as to help kids do the craft easily.  Purchase wipes for clean-up, pens for signing your book, and have bookmarks or other giveaways.

When you plan in advance and spread the word, you should have a significant turn-out.  The most important thing to know is, this event is for the book store, the non-profit, and for kids.  It's not about how many books you can sell (though that's always on an author's mind).  Put your effort and heart into meeting your fans.  Allow them to get to know you and your book and your author event will be an amazing success.

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