Posted by Jocelyn on July 27th, 2016
Posted by Jocelyn on July 18th, 2016
Imbedded in the dream of being an author is the vision of attending book signings. Whether you are hopeful for a line around the block or just a chance to have your family, friends, and mentors gather in one room to listen to your journey, it is both a rewarding and humbling experience. For some authors a signing turns into a great way to connect with readers, hear their questions and build a fan base, for others it can be a crush to the ego when the only people in attendance are the store owner and a few random shoppers. First off, don’t be discouraged. I once attended a book signing in downtown Boston for an extremely successful, New York Times Bestselling author and there were about 4 people in attendance, one of them being a man who simply wanted to sit down and take a nap. But the author did something wonderful, she spoke to us as if we were her friends, she was funny, told great stories and had all four of us (the man eventually woke up) laughing and eager to buy her books. By taking the time to connect with us, she built lifelong fans. That being said, book signings are not easy endeavors. They require tenacity and a thick skin. Here are a few tips for preparing your book signings:
Where do you want to sign? Is there a local, independent bookstore in your home town? Do you have a busy Barnes & Noble nearby? Are you planning on traveling to visit friends or for business and have extra time on your hands? Map out a plan for where you would like to set-up some signings. Keep in mind that all of these are not going to come to fruition. It can be very difficult and time-consuming to get a bookstore to approve a signing because it is not as simple as just arriving with a pen in hand. The store has to work within its own calendar of events, it has to promote the event and determine how many books will be needed. They are also going to want to know if the book is available through standard distribution channels and whether or not unsold books can be returned.
Reach out to the media that is based near your signing location. Find the local papers, magazines and radio stations that cater to that particular area and let them know (well in advance) that you will be making an appearance. You are not necessarily inviting them to come to your event (if they do, super!) but it is a way of letting them know that you will be in the neighborhood on a specific date and there is a local “newsworthy” angle that may be of interest to them. Reach out to the media outlets in the closest major city, as well. Most newspapers (small and large) have an events section. At the very least, you can get your signing or appearance mentioned in their calendar section. Talk to the special events coordinator at the bookstore where you will be signing. Most likely they reach out to the local media on behalf of the bookstore, but it’s always good to coordinate and get a feeling for what kind of outreach they will do.
What are you going to do once you get to your signing? Will you be doing a reading? A question and answer? A small speech about the writing process or your journey to becoming a published author? You don’t have to have everything scripted but it is a good idea to have a general idea of what you would like to do and say once you get to your event. It is also smart to get there early. It will give you a good feel for the venue and prevent any chance of being late to your own signing. You don’t want to leave your fans waiting.
Send a thank you card. Call the bookseller after the event to thank them for hosting or even send a small gift basket. These are all nice ways to endear yourself to a local bookseller, someone who most certainly could have a hand in helping to build your audience.
Take pictures at your event and share them on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Write a blog post about your event. Show future venues and media outlets that you are comfortable with public events so that they will keep you in mind. It will also show your readers and fans that you are a real live person and not just a name on a book. You could also have a friend take some video of you speaking or reading and put that on your website.
Book tours are not for everyone but if it is something that you have dreamed of doing or something that your publisher suggests you do, then these are just a few ways to make sure you cover all of your bases and do it right. There is no way to guarantee that an author event goes smoothly and there is no such thing as a “perfect” book signing but being prepared is a good way to banish some of those jitters and get you and your book out into the world.
Posted by Jocelyn on January 21st, 2015
There are hundreds of reasons to write a book. There are reasons that exist solely in your heart and those that are universal. Below I am giving you 10 (Simple) Reasons to Write That Book because it’s a new year and resolutions are already being ignored. Don’t let this resolution slip between the cracks. I’m hoping to spark a fire in you to sit down, put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write that book! I’m a book publicist so I see thousands of writers anxiously pursuing their dream and whether they succeed or fail in garnering the attention they want, they are always proud of the book that they can hold in their hands, a tangible example of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
Posted by Jocelyn on January 14th, 2015
There are many approaches that you can take when drafting a press release for your book. One of the most important things you can do is make sure your press release provides all of the vital information so that you don’t leave an editor with any unanswered questions. Here is a quick cheat sheet to help you get the best possible press release crafted for you and your book.
There are a lot of rules for drafting the perfect press release. Once you learn, understand, and incorporate them, you can break them to fit your needs. Maybe your book is about bringing color and sparkle into your life, then adding funky colors and fonts represents your work and might be what grabs the attention of an editor? Maybe writing a sensational headline will set you apart? Maybe you don’t want to answer all of the W & H questions because you want to leave an element of mystery to correlate with the mysterious subject matter of your book? These are the tried and true rules for writing a press release and you should always make sure that you have one straight/serious/official press release available to send to the media. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a fun/gimmicky press release available, as well. Some of the best coverage we have secured was the result of a more creative approach to gaining the media’s attention.
Posted by Jocelyn on January 12th, 2015
Last night was a big night for Kelley & Hall client, Lisa Genova. Julianne Moore won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her portrayal of Alice in STILL ALICE.
Here is what Lisa Genova had to say about her self-publishing journey and joining forces with Kelley & Hall: