Posted by: nancyisanders | April 9, 2012

Publicists: Conventions

If you ever want to attend one or more of these big conventions, whether you have a new book coming out or had one in the past, start contacting your different publishers and see if they can pay for tickets for you to come. Sometimes a publisher has this in their budget and sometimes they don’t. In the past years, when our two sons were still living at home, I was able to get various publishers to pay for various members of my family to attend so we could all go together and celebrate the newest books released that year.

One year, we arranged our vacation plans to include ALA in Washington, DC. Other years, we’ve attended IRA, ALA, BEA and CBA when they’ve been in Los Angeles or Ontario, CA.

Why are these conventions so important? For one thing, it’s a big event in the industry. It’s where all the bookstore owners and librarians and people who purchase books go to see what new books are out. These folks often have huge budgets they’re working with to BUY BOOKS!

So you really want to connect with the people who are attending these conventions in a big way.

Also, it’s a place where you as an author can meet with all the different publishers and lots of editors. You can schedule individual appointments with editors or browse through their booths and see what kind of books that are hot off the press that they’re releasing.

And if you’ve never been to one of these conventions, it’s a real eye-opener as to how the book industry works.

These conventions usually also have tickets individuals can purchase at the door either for the whole event or one day. One year, my critique group purchased tickets and we all went together as a field trip. It was an awesome experience!

So, check these conventions out…each and every year. Keep an eye on them. See if you can ever work it out to attend. You’ll have a new understanding of the book industry and how it works from the inside out.

And in my next post I’ll tell you something else very exciting that Mary, my marketing manager, is working hard to set up to help launch my new book at ALA 2012!


Responses

  1. Sounds amazing! Wish I could be a little mouse in your bag and attend!

  2. My understanding is that if you attend to promote your own book, you have to have quite a few free copies to give out to potential buyers? Do you know if this is true, and if so, how many I should come armed with?

    • Hi Angela, it’s nice to hear from you! This is a tricky question in that there could be many different answers. Since my publisher is handling this, I don’t bring any books to give out. The publisher supplies the books. When I’ve done a book signing before at an event like this, the publisher SOLD copies of my books to the librarians at the event and didn’t give out free copies. Other times, the publisher has provided SWAG such as bookmarks or postcards with information about the book to give away. But since the goal is to get the potential buyers to BUY the book, free copies of the book haven’t been given away in my experience. However, other publishers may feel differently and other authors may have different experiences with this. I have been to events where free copies have been given away of some titles, but these have been to bookseller conventions (where bookstore owners are looking for books to carry in their stores) and usually these are just the more famous titles where the publisher pretty much knows thousands of the book will sell anyhow so they can spare a couple of hundred of free copies to give away…does this answer help?


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