So although it looks to be a crowded space, there were actually only about fifteen individuals at this Author Reading which took place at the lovely Book Warehouse venue on Main Street in Vancouver last month. Organised by the publishers (Touchwood Editions) the event saw me (the fifty-five year old seasoned non-fiction author) sharing the spot-light with a young (just turned thirty) young, enthusiastic first-time published writer. Fortunately she had invited a number of her yoga class and (bouyed with the promise of cocktails in an adjacent bar following the event) I too had a couple of supporters.
I have taken part in a number of these, which tend to be successful as a marketing tool not because of the event itself, but because of the related activities. The venue places your new book pride of place, promotional leaflets and posters – see below – are displayed in the window of the store and elsewhere and the event is mentioned on various social media outlets which are promoting “Whats On” in the area that night.
Of course the success of the event is very much dependent on who attends, questions asked and achieving a critical mass. A few years ago I was involved in a book signing at a large Chapters where there was only two attendees and four Chapters staff memebers who were on their break who sat eating sandwiches…but a huge display of camping books dominated their enterance. I was also invited to undertake a book signing at Costco and thought that would be disasterous, but it turned out to be very successful in terms of sales. Shoppers atbthis warehouse store who were about to drop $400.00 for groceries thought nothing of adding another $20.00 to their bill for a camping book. Moral of this writer’s story: never discount an opportunity to link with your readers and support those independent (and alternative retail) stores which will be markerting the text.