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Nicole Antoinette Smith

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The Lady and the Warrior
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21 Festival Tips for Authors
by Nicole Antoinette Smith   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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As a publisher, I am always saddened by how little effort some authors do to publicize and promote their works. If they would employ some of the simple techniques below, they will enhance their results. There can be several reasons, but one reason has been proven true in many cases, they don't know how. Listed below are 21 techniques to prepare for a Festival in hopes of increasing results.

As a publisher, I am always saddened by how little effort some authors do to publicize and promote their works. If they would employ some of the simple techniques below, they will enhance their results. There can be several reasons, but one reason has been proven true in many cases, they don't know how. Listed below are 21 techniques to prepare for a Festival in hopes of increasing results.

1. Email: Send an email to all of your contacts to let them know you will participate in the Festival. Provide them with the details about the Festival and encourage them to attend to show their support. Ask them to forward your email to at least 10 friends. Within minutes you could reach thousands of people.

2. Newsletter: Send an announcement to organizations you belong to (e.g., church, community, school, alumni association, sorority, fraternity, etc.) and let them know you will participate in the Festival. Ask if they can include the announcement in their next communication.

3. Facebook Friends: Create an EVENT on Facebook and invite all your Facebook friends. Ask them to SHARE the event with their Facebook friends.

4. Facebook Networks: Send an email to your Facebook Networks and ask the FAN page owner to announce your participation in the Festival. Also, ask them to put the Festival as an EVENT on their FAN page.

5. Facebook Fan Page: Become a friend of the Festival's Facebook page and SUGGEST the page to your Facebook friends.

6. Twitter: Tweet... Tweet... Tweet... and ask your followers to Retweet. Also, become a FOLLOWER of the Festival.

7. Website: Add the Festival to your website and let visitors know you will participate in the Festival. List the details about the Festival and encourage visitors to attend to show their support.

8. Promotional Material: Bring promotional material to support your book, such as banners, posters, bookmarks, postcards, business cards, flyers, etc., to the Festival. Make sure your material looks professional, clear, and concise.

9. Interaction: Plan a day of activities in your booth such as an author reading, trivia, contests, giveaways, or a mini-workshop. Pass out candy, bookmarks, and stickers. Hang a schedule of events on your booth so festival goers will be informed. Consider an offer of a free gift with purchase (e.g., a coloring page based on your children's book with a small box of crayons).

10. Decorate your Booth: Create an atmosphere that is warm and inviting. Decorate your booth with things like a table cloth, plants, bean bag, artwork, music, etc. Allow attendees space to sit and read through your book(s).

11. Book Display: Make your book display fun and inviting. For example, if you have a cookbook, wrap a spoon, fork, napkin, and plate around it with raffia or create a basket with fun items related to your book.

12. Dress: Dress the part so people will have a visual of the main parts of your book. If your book is about a princess, wear a tiara and a pretty dress.

13. Mailing List: Create a mailing list sign-up form so you can communicate with attendees after the Festival. Be sure to write them immediately, to thank them for stopping by and inform them of your future events. Be sure to say "thank you" if they purchased your book.

14. Network: Prepare your 30-second "Elevator Speech." Book festivals are attended by a variety of people (literary agents, publishers, book sellers, librarians, educators, and more), so network with as many people as you can. Don't look at the Festival as a competition with the other authors. Instead, it's a time to celebrate books and all who love to write and read. Ask everyone a prepared question to break the ice. Are you a writer? What do you like most about book festivals? Which other book festivals do you attend? Look for ways to share your "Elevator Speech."

15. Exposure: Develop a plan to get exposure. For example, tell them an unforgettable story about you or the story behind the story (i.e., your book) that is intriguing and will be remembered. Book sales are not guaranteed at ANY festival, but you can make a lasting impression that could lead to future sales. Remember, on the internet book lovers can purchase your book 24/7, so leave an unforgettable impression.

16. Price: Price your book in whole dollars and bring lots of change in appropriate denominations. For example, if your book retails at $15.95, round it up to $16.00. Also, provide a bag for their purchase with your other promotional material included in the bag. Offer to include other author's promotional material in your bag if they'll do the same for you.

17. Signs: Bring a sign that says "Autographed Copies" because people love autographed books from known and unknown authors. Also, hang a sign that will appeal to your target market, such as Perfect Gift for Teens/Dads/Moms/Grandparents/Christmas, etc.

18. Audience: Create YOUR own stage. Set out a few chairs in or in front of your assigned area. If you are a children's book author, bring puppets of characters from your book and have a puppet show.

19. Buttons: Wear a button or pin that promotes your book or a generic one such as "Ask Me" to bring attention to you. This opens the line of communication so you can give your sales pitch.

20. Balance: Find the right balance between selling and overselling. Invite them to buy by creating an atmosphere that is comfortable and non-threatening. If you are pushing, you may push them away and lose them as a customer.

21. Media: Set up radio, TV, or newspaper interviews prior to the event to create awareness. For example, contact the producer of a local radio show (Note: each radio show has a different producer, likewise for TV) and pitch your story, NOT your book. Radio and TV producers and newspaper editorial writers want to know the story behind the story and how it led to a book.

© Copyright - Nicole Smith - All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

About the Author

Publisher and author of How to Market Your Book for Free eBook, Nicole Smith is the Founder of the Suwanee Festival of the Books. She owns and manages Faith Books & MORE Publishing, a faith and family friendly book publishing company. At Faith Books & MORE, we turn manuscripts into a creative piece of art. Visit to learn about our book publishing process.

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