Friday, July 25, 2014

Promotion Made Personal

Promotion is a requirement for authors.
Readers can not buy your book unless they know there is a book, what it is about, and where to buy!

This promotional event was sponsored by Montlake Publishing for the 2014 RT Booklovers Convention. It included a scavenger hunt that required readers to review the novels and chat with the authors. 25 Gift bags were raffled to all the readers who completed their forms and there was a grand prize of a $150 Amazon Gift Card.

There was a consistency to each author table. This is something to consider when planning an event designed to engage customers and sell books, or any direct retail event. Every item, from pens to brochures to candy to costume jewelry was displayed with enough space to be noticed. No one promotion was bigger than the other and readers had to search for the books instead of being overwhelmed with a lot of banners mounted on the walls. This created a rather cozy feeling in a very crowded and noisy room. All the tables were in the center of the room and comfortable for standing, but chairs lined the perimeter of the room so no one had to leave in search of giving their feet a rest.  Separating the author tables, which could be rather crowded with fans, were a few more tables promoting additional books and authors.

The game was the brain child of Robin Perini and she stated it was inspired by Darynda Jones. Each of the eight participating authors had a table to display their book(s) and give away promotional items. All the clues for this scavenger hunt were about the book but the answers were not obvious.

Questions included: "Whose heroine and hero meet at a sacred wellspring?"
"Whose hero feeds his wife chocolate croissants in bed?"
"Whose heroine lost her mother to a serial killer?"
"In which book does a character get broken out of prison?"
Debra Holland and a fan
None of the answers were listed in the book blurbs so a reader would have to discern where those questions may apply then ask the author questions. Some of the authors had fun being cagey about providing yes or no answers and were able to chat more about their books. Players (readers) loved that added interaction to the quest for answers.

There was also enough time for readers to fill out their sheets, enter the drawing, chat with other readers, and still have time to get pictures with their favorite authors.  Everything about this event was low pressure, cost effective, and personal.

An interesting tidbit to us and our message of the author career spanning many years is - many of the featured books were first in a series and published years ago. This promotion was not geared to a latest release or debut author but to creating engaging relationships between authors and readers.

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