Monday, September 27, 2010

Back-to-Business Monday: THE HONORARIUM QUESTION Part 3 - Promotions & Incentives

While connecting with potential readers (as well as with educators, librarians and others in the book community who are interested in you and your work) is an important benefit of the author or illustrator appearance, it is optimal to have your marketing efforts also get the most number of books into the hands of readers.  Here are a few ideas for moving copies.
  • Consider appearing for a discounted fee (or even just travel/hotel expenses) if there is a bulk book purchase.  This can be beneficial for newer and even more accomplished authors to show their support for such programs as a community book distribution or a One School-One Book event.
  • Ask your publisher if they offer a pricing discount to schools/libraries hosting their authors. If so, make sure that this discount information is provided to all hosts to encourage book purchases.  If you have a reading guide, link to a really good newspaper interview you've done, or other read-the-book enticements, make sure to provide this information to hosts along with book order details when you confirm an appearance.
  • Create a special appearance benefit for groups having read your book.  For example, if you're going to speak at a school, offer to have a special session with members of their book group if they've read your book.  Or, offer a special talk tied to particular curriculum areas and with special "author secrets revealed" material for appearances at which all students will have read your book and are ready for a special, in-depth workshop.
Beyond the fact that selling books is good for your career, the more members of your audience have copies of your book, the more engaged they are likely to be in your visit.  There's just something cool about having a copy of a book written by someone you have seen or even met!  Obviously, the more books there are to sign, the more fun and energized signings will be as well.  Which brings me to the topic for next Monday: School Appearances and Bookstore Signings.

I'll finish her by noting that, as always, these suggestions should be considered merely starting points to get you thinking about the how and why of promoting your book.  Have you had a particularly successful author appearance, gotten a great appearance marketing tip from a website or writer colleague, or thought of another author appearance idea to share?  Please leave a comment so we can all learn from each other!

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