Thursday, August 26, 2010

EXPOS, BOOKFEST and More - Oh My!

This month I had my first book signing at a Book Expo. The African American Book Expo had tons of authors, and vendors selling their products. Since this is my first full year of book promotions, I added this to my experimental list of things to do.

I researched the trade shows I would attend by searching other authors that had similar work as I did. However, I did the African American Book Expo in MD simply because it was the first time they’d had one and I could share a table with another author, Maggie Mei Lewis, that I respected. I also signed up for the Capital Bookfest, because it was close to my hometown and I liked some of the other authors that were attending. The Baltimore Book Festival, I’m attending because it’s free to Maryland Writer’s Association members.

The reason I go to these events (Book Expos) is truly not to sell books, it’s for networking. If you go to these events hoping to sell a ton a books – you will be disappointed.

When you are seeking out the promotional opportunities for your writing career (you can also do this when you are even unpublished) set your goals, research the venue and what other’s have gotten out of the endeavor and plan in opportunities that will get you the exposure you desire. I did this by doing a Google alert on authors that were new, and doing things that I wanted to do with my career. Then I fashioned the events that fit within my budget and goals for my own career.

Always reinvent yourself and your promotional goals. Some events I’ve participated in were the wrong venue, didn’t meet my ‘realistic’ expectations or were too costly compared to the benefits. So I revamped my plans for the next year to fit my budget, highlight the things that worked, and I always add something new for discovery of better ways to promote myself and my books.

Be realistic when pursuing promotion of your books. It takes 3 years for any business to confirm growth, so set a 3-year plan/investment in yourself and your promotional goals. Gage your growth each year with a chart and if you see improvement, pat yourself on the back and research ways to further improve.

Don't forget to drop into my PARTY BLOG, to find out more about my books and the freebie of the month!


reading. writing. revolution. said...

best of luck! you are certainly doing the hard work of research and promotion!! i'm sure it will pay off!

Jewel Allen said...

Congratulations!!! Sounds like time well spent. I sometimes forget that books aren't the it all. There's so much more to birthing a book than just "writing" it.

Beth said...

How do you reccomend seeking publicity when you are unpublished? Do you mean promoting a blog or should you do more to promote your manuscript?


LM Preston said...

As an unpublished author, join a writing organization, get involved with the conference and recruiting agents/editors to attend. Be an avid book blogger and go to the book bloggers conventions. Georgia McBride even started community and rubs elbows with editors and agents alike.

Anonymous said...

An actual book signing, how exciting! Congratulations :-)

Jennifer (Madame) Perry said...

Just found you thanks to Crazy-for-Books Blog Hop. Fantastic Blog you have here. I'm a new fan.