This day marked the beginning of my vendor events. For my first event promoting my novel, I attended a small writers conference in my area. It was held in a small building in the middle of town on a dreary day. I had a booth I was sharing with other authors to sell and promote our books, and every author there had experience with events and other face-to-face marketing strategies.
We each stood behind a table, watching as people picked up our works and examined their covers – praying they weren’t picking the plot line apart already.
I actually felt out of place.
Everyone around me, though shy, was doing well at engaging with their audience one-on-one. But I can’t say I have honed this skill as much as they. In fact, I do better at public speaking than I do communicating one-on-one.
I was given the task to make the announcements at the beginning of the conference ten minutes before the event began. Frankly, this method of public speaking – not planning what you are going to say at all – is the least nerve-wracking way to go into public speaking (though not the most effective).
Throughout the conference, I learned nearly everything I needed to know about traditional publishing. Since this is the route I desire to take for my future novels, I was delighted to meet and learn from the publishers.
The authors selling their book were given time to promote during each break. I got to know many other writers in my area, as well as get my name out to the other authors in my network.
Although the event was successful overall, I unfortunately only sold two novels. I can’t say I didn’t feel to arrive home with a stack of unsold books in my hands. But I have not lost hope in my journey of publishing.
To anyone just published – even if you don’t end up selling well at an event, remain optimistic. Meeting your audience face to face is key to future success in both writing and marketing.
God bless you all and have a fantastic week!