Girls with Guts: The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records launched on May 14, just a few short weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been out and about celebrating my debut in several public events – and I have enjoyed every minute of the experience. I’ve also learned a few things along the way, three tips that you might find to be helpful, too.
Tip #1 – Just Roll with It:I’ve learned that presenters have little to no control over the environment established in the venue. For instance, one of the launch events was held in a shopping mall. Not inside a quaint little shop or a quiet corner of the mall, mind you. No. Instead, rows of seats and signing tables were staged smack dab in the middle of a well-trafficked area without mics, to boot.
The original plan was present in an intimate “story time” type of setting. Uh…that just wasn’t going to happen. So, instead, I punted. Rather than performing a word-by-word recitation of the story, I (loudly) summarized each page, all the while moving in and out of the group in an animated fashion, engaging the kids by attempting to pull them into the story. In the end, the event was a rousing success! Kids were happy. Parents were smiling. Tons of books were signed. It was fun!
One of the bookstore events was scheduled to be held mid-morning on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and weather was simply glorious! Bright sunny skies. Warm gentle breezes. The perfect day for a walk in the park, OUTDOORS. Well, as you might guess, the attendance numbers were low. Some things are just not in our control, right?
Rather than being bummed about the crowd size, I used the opportunity to genuinely focus on the terrific folks who chose to come by to support my debut author journey. I studied the color of their eyes as we talked. As a result of being grateful and enjoying the moment, I met a kid blogger who has twice posted about the book and I found out about a cool program for teachers hosted by the store, one in which I can serve as a presenter!
Tip #3 – Be Self-Sufficient:I’ve discovered that, though there seems to be a great deal of energetic enthusiasm surrounding the promotion of the launch, the bookstore staff may not share in the buzz. The event coordinator was out of pocket when I first arrived at one of the events. The first person I spoke with worked in the cafe’ and (understandably so) seemed to have little interest in helping me set up. She kindly directed me to podium and then I busied myself making a nest. I pulled out my computer and swag, tidied up the podium, and arranged the stage as best I thought it would function well. After some time, the event coordinator arrived and, together, we cheerfully made things happen. In the end, all went well.
Overall, this book launching experience has left me consumed by a deep sense of gratitude. I’m thankful for the kind souls who have made it priority to attend each event, appreciative for those behind the scenes who have organized all the moving parts and humbled by all the love and support that has come my way. I can’t wait to do more of them!
Did you miss Debbie's previous Painless Self-Promotion posts? Click on the links below to read her entire series:
Want to learn more? KidLit 411 devoted an entire section of their website to resources for marketing and creating a platform: http://www.kidlit411.com/2014/01/creating-platform.html
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