Monday, 2 December 2019

Authors: Are You Ready to Rock the Holiday Events…

Justine and I working the floor at the Christmas Market
In the late fall of 2018, I had the pleasure of attending a Christmas Market in the city of Windsor, Ontario with my publisher, Justine Alley Dowsett who owns Mirror World Publishing. This event was held on the first three Wednesdays of December starting at 4 pm and ending by 8 pm. I looked forward with anticipation to the throngs of new readers and holiday shoppers I would meet there. I had my bowl of candy good to go, and my trusty Santa hat washed and ready. I had my marker and giveaways at my disposal in preparation to hand out, or sign the copious amount of books I’d sell. And I had Justine, my amazing publisher by my side to help pimp our reading wares. Now, in the past five years of being contracted with Mirror World Publishing, I’ve found that Art Markets and Craft Shows are not for the faint of heart and may not be the best venue for authors. However, the three Wednesdays we worked during this holiday event proved to be worth it in the long run. I’d also like to remind all you hard-working authors that if you don’t get a sale at a particular show, fair or event, NEVER underestimate the power of connecting with future readers, and getting the word out about your books.

Below are 5 simple tips I’ve picked up from ‘working it’ at those Christmas Markets:

1. Usually potential customers (a.k.a. readers) are lured to tables when they see books. That’s a no-brainer. Make sure you have an eye-catching banner running across the length of your table and that your books are strategically placed on shelves or in stands (you can purchase these at any dollar store) and positioned together in the same genres.

2. Engage readers immediately and ask them what genre they like to read. Then, go for the sweet spot and ask them the names of their favorite authors. Since my publisher had an array of books and authors of different genres splashed across the table, we had a better chance at filling the readers’ literary needs. For example, some liked fantasy, others were avid young adult fans, so we steered them toward the appropriate section.

3. Have freebies on hand. Book marks, rack cards printed with your book covers and blurbs, and business cards are the staples. Last year, my publisher created mini sampler booklets of the first chapter of some of their books available to purchase, and stuffed them into Christmas stockings to hang off the table. Kids love taking these goodies home, and it gave the parents a chance to check out the book.

4. If children or teens are in tow, move to the front of the table and go for the candy. They’re already staring at bowl, so why not offer something that they love! Even adults love candy, so go with your gut and offer them a sweet temptation. NOTE: Make sure you ask the parent’s permission first.

5. Never ignore anyone, and always end conversations on a positive note whether they purchase a book or not. Hand them a business card, book mark, catalogue of your books, or a signed rack card if available, along with a smile. You never know. They might just buy your book after the holidays!

And so begins the Holiday Craft Shows this year!

BTW - Justine and I have decided to appear at the 2019 Christmas Market at the Windsor Crossings Outlet Mall the first three Wednesdays in December, 4 pm to 8 pm. So if you live in the Windsor-Essex area in Ontario, Canada, please stop by for a chat, peruse our books, and see if you can find that special gift for the reader in your family. At the very least, help yourself to a candy, and grab a book mark or booklet sampler. Happy Shopping!

If you’re an author who loves doing Christmas Bazaars, Art Markets or Craft Shows what tips can you add? If you’re a reader—what lures you to an author’s table at an event? Their book covers? The candy? The freebies? The amount of books offered? Would love to read your comments! Cheers, and thank you for reading my blog. Happy Holidays!

10 comments:

  1. Your promotional activities are an inspiration to us all, Sharon xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Carol! Really appreciate your support and friendship. Cheers!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Andrew! You live and learn in this business. Wink. Cheers for stopping by!

      Delete
    2. You're welcome, Sharon! Happy Holidays!

      Delete
    3. Happy Holidays to you too, Andrew! Wishing you Santa-sized book sales!

      Delete
  3. I loved reading your "happy" post, Sharon. It has so many useful tips for authors. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, Linda! Really appreciate your support and input. Happy is what I do! LOL! Cheers!

      Delete
  4. You are a marketing machine, Sharon!! Here's wishing you luck and many sales in the coming new year!!

    ReplyDelete