Recently, I attended a book event with nearly 50 authors. It was interesting to be in a place filled with so many like-minded people. I enjoyed meeting new writers and discussing the publishing industry with the. I even collected a pile of marketing paraphernalia from each table I visited.
And even though I was not one of the showcased authors (I attended as a mere guest) I couldn't help but reflect on the event and compare it with my own book events. So, I've compiled a list of MY must have items for any book event, book signing, book launch, etc. that I'm a part of.
- A "covered' table. Oftentimes, the organizers of the event will provide some type of cloth covering. But I'm always prepared with one just in case. My coverings usually come from a party supply store. I use a plastic table skirt that can adhere to the edges of the table I'm using.
- Signage. I have a fantastic sign guy that always produces high-quality signs/posters for me. Signs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whatever you choose, make sure it's highly mobile. My signs usually sit on a tripod beside my table.
- Mobile phone and camera. IN this day and age, a camera is a must. You ALWAYS want to have photographs of your events. This will serve as great promotional material A phone is necessary because you want to be able to post those pictures to your social media channels. *It is also incredibly helpful if your fans would take pics of them at your event and post them to their social media friends.Also, create a hashtag for your event. Ex: #KrystalGrantBooks
- An electronic payment device and cashbox. Nobody writes checks anymore and people seldom carry cash. But EVERYONE has a debit card on them. So...if you want to make money, you MUST have a square, PayPal reader or other forms of electronic payment devices. And for those few people who will carry cash, be sure to have a cash box to hold the money AND be able to provide them with change if needed.
- Sharpie markers. As a writer, you should always want your autograph to look professional and you want it o last. As a rule, I only sign my books with a black Sharpie marker. Always. (But there is an author I k now who signs her books with a pink Sharpie. I may start doing that. LOL)
- Bookmarks and book stands. I don't use business cards. For my marketing purposes, I have bookmarks. They are functional and effective. Bookmarks market your work long after a book event is over. I also use a small book stands at my table. These can be purchased at Hobby Lobby, WalMart or Michaels. I do not stack my books on a table. Passers-by have an easier way to view my product when the books are standing upright.
- Post-It Notes. These are useful if there is a large crowd and a long line at your event. You don't want to ask every single person to spell their name. So, your assistant can get each person in line to legibly write his name on a Post-It Note and stick it to the inside of the book they've purchased. This moves the line along quickly and prevents any misspellings.
- A sign-up sheet. you have fans. They love your work and want to read more of it. Create an e mail list so your readers can receive your newsletter (You DO send out a regular newsletter, don't you?)
- Breath mints and water bottles. It's a long event. You're talking to lots of people. PLEASE have mints as not to offend anyone. No gum is allowed. It's unprofessional and not good for pictures.
**Regardless of the type of event you are participating in, it would be great if you had two assistants 1)Someone to take pics and post to your social media 2) Someone to collect money. You should not collect any money at your own event. Focus on meeting your fans and signing books.
If you found this post helpful be sure to like it and share it over your social media channels. Did I forget anything? Add your own must-haves in the comments below!