Author-mania

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Platform building includes meeting people face to face instead of simply on Facebook.
 
So earlier this year I slithered from the confines of my office and emerged into the real world. AKA, the one I don’t create on my computer.

Along with 100 other authors, I’d signed up for the Omaha Public Library’s Author Fair.

On the way there I pictured writers bashing each other in an All Star Wrestling free-for-all to snag readers. 

Instead I met fabulous people and learned from their techniques.

Rather than a cage match slam-down, I found a tag-team situation…with everyone on the same team.


Angela D. Meyer, Where Hope Starts author, helped me arrange my table area. 

By “helped” I mean she reconfigured my haphazard pile of books, sign-up sheets, and related items into an attractive, cohesive display.

I learned: Eliminate my bulky book stand and work my items into a semi-circular shape to make the most of limited space. 

 

Lee Warren spent the afternoon sharing tips he’d learned in his years as a multi-published author and editor.


I learned: Offer an incentive to invite people who are interested in my message to sign up for my blog or newsletter. Collecting a long list of address from people who’ll never open my emails is counterproductive.

 

Author Brook Williams wore a T-shirt displaying a link to her website and the cover of her newest book, Accept This Dandelion

I emailed her later to admit, “Oh my goodness. I just now realized you’re the one who wrote, Right Place, Wrong Time.”

I learned: Promote your book in unique ways.


Jennifer Slattery lured people to her table with snack-sized chocolate bars. People took the bait and signed up for her blog. 

But Jennifer had bigger fish to fry. 

She shared about Taking’ it to the Streets ministry, serving the unemployed and underemployed. 

I learned: Use your platform to help others.

 
After enjoying Kim Stokely’s novel, 
Winter Trees, I couldn’t wait to read Woman Of Flames. 

Clever Kim used a tall pole stand to display her book banners.

I learned: Buy poles and banners at places like Vistaprint. Check the pole’s weight, and also see if they’re collapsible for airplane travel.


It’s a family affair, as Kim’s niece, Rebecca Grous  brought her own novel The Determining.

Rebecca said she’s uncomfortable with public acclaim. She’d rather remain in the background than the limelight.

I learned: Push past reticence to come out of my comfort zone. 
 

What about meeting the public? Isn’t that why I went? 
Absolutely. 

  • I connected with readers.  
  • People signed up for my blog.
  • I had a great time chatting with a multitude of folks.
     
What about you?
You’re the main event in your own Author-mania ring. 

Is something holding you on the ropes? Are you feeling frustrated, ready to tap out?

Don’t give up. Push past those barriers, 
and emerge a champion.
We’ll cheer you on with more enthusiasm than Hulk Hogan making a come-back.
Is your writing stuck in a hammer lock? Our free monthly newsletter will get it off the mat. Sign up is easy–the button is on the right side of this page, near the top.
Jeanie Jacobson

Jeanie Jacobson

Jeanie Jacobson is on the leadership team of Wordsowers Christian Writers Group. Her book, Fast Fixes for the Christian Packrat, is available on Amazon. She’s also published in “Focus on the Family”and “LIVE” magazines, many Chicken Soup for the Soul releases, and a Bethany House compilation. Jeanie teaches workshops geared toward helping new writers, and is working on a Christian-slanted YA fantasy novel. Connect with her at jeaniejacobson.com
Jeanie Jacobson

2 thoughts on “Author-mania

  1. These ways sound interesting! Great tips!! The only thing, I would have liked to see a picture of some of the ways.Like did Brooke's t-shirt have just the link? Nothing a cover to her book? Or what kind of incentives were offered to get people to sign up. What did the poles look like with the banner? And how did the attractive table look like? I've never been to an author festival but may go in September and would love to have a clearer picture of what I can do there.
    Thanks!

  2. Great questions Amy!
    Brooke's t-shirt featured a huge picture of her book cover. The website was secondary.
    Different authors = different incentives. Many had, "Sign up for my blog/newsletter to be entered in a drawing for a $25 (restaurant/store) gift card."
    It's great if your incentive reflects your personal brand.

    Kim Stokely had a vertical banner about 2 /1/2' wide by 4' long on a tall pole-type stand. They're readily available online. If you go to http://vistaprint.com and click on "Signs and posters" you'll get some ideas as to sizes and prices.

    Regarding your September event, check with the promoters for all the info you can get. Do you need to bring your own table and chair or will one be provided for you? Will you have a table to yourself, or will you be seated with other authors? How much room is allocated for you? How early can you get in to do your set-up? What does the venue provide?
    I brought a glass bowl filled with candy, but the Omaha library already had filled candy dishes at each author station.

    Author Angela D. Meyer has super tips in her post, "10 Things you need for an Author Event."
    (http://omahawordsowers.blogspot.com/2014/06/10-things-you-need-for-author-event.html)
    Let us know if you have any other questions, and keep us posted on your event:)

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