You’ve done it. You’ve landed a spot at an event (or bought a table). Do you sit back and let the venue do all of the advertising? Unless it is a massive national event, no. Getting the word out will benefit everyone involved including you. Here are some inexpensive (and free) ways to increase traffic at your author event.
Yeah, I know. Some people are Facebook adverse, but it is a great way to reach people…and it’s free. Also, consider the demographics of the people you are trying to invite. Where does that group of people find out about events? Facebook still has reach from Millennials to Boomers.
- Create an Event (If the venue hasn’t already, if they have, link and share)
- Personal page
- Author Fan Page
- Local City Pages (for the city it’s in and surrounding areas)
- Local Book Lover Pages
- Book Clubs
- Facebook Marketplace (create a post for new books with the event info)
- Buy & Sell Pages (Same as above)
You see what I’m getting at? Think beyond your personal page and post it once a week for several weeks leading up to the event.
The rule of thumb is that people need to see things seven times before they act. That’s seeing your book cover seven times before they buy it, too.
Other Free Places to Post
Some of these are obvious, but it’s always nice to have a list. If you don’t have accounts, you don’t need to run out and create them everywhere. Pick a couple and do them well. Remember, the goal is to increase traffic to the event. Get it out there.
- Your BLOG
- Your alumni association
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Paid Options to Promote Author Appearances
- Radio spot
- Podcast spot
- Boosting Facebook or Instagram posts
Get Local Involvement
If your event is in a convention hall, you can reach out to local businesses.
- See if the local indie bookstore will display books of the authors who will be at the event. Thank them by promoting their store or maybe giving away a gift certificate.
- Will local businesses let you put up a poster?
- See if the local Chamber of Commerce will add the event to their newsletter.
- Are there physical bulletin boards where you can put up a flier?
- Is there a local podcast that would feature you?
Giveaways can be done for multiple reasons at the event. It’s always fabulous to have a door prize, but why not take it to the next level?
- If you want to collect email addresses, do a personal giveaway at your table. You can use paper or my preference is to use a tablet with a Google Form (so I don’t have to decipher handwriting). You can see my form here. Feel free to sign up for my very sporadic newsletter (bad author, I know).
- Will the event do hourly giveaways to create excitement?
- Give each person a ticket for every book they purchase to help those people who are on the fence. The items being given away don’t have to be expensive.
- What should you give away? Gift certificates (especially to local businesses like coffee shops and book stores) and book swag (bags, stickers, t-shirts, book cozies, water-bottles, etc.)
Beauty and the Beast + A Role Swap + Vikings? Yes, Please!
Promote More than the Event
Why not write an article promoting all the things to do in the area including the book event?
I live in a gorgeous, coastal town in Oregon. In my appearance announcement, I encouraged people to come for the weekend and listed my favorite things to do in Florence. After looking over my list, you may want to come to the Florence Festival of Books next September. ;o)
Additionally, try submitting an article to a magazine or newspaper. Maybe an article on ‘why book festivals are important’ or ‘how books help the community.’
Hopefully this gives you a few extra ideas. Did I miss anything? I would love to hear your ideas. Cheers!