Yes, it’s totally unfair that folks who like to create worlds in their own minds should ALSO have to deal with the real world, but that’s just the way it is. People respond to what’s happening at the particular moment of experience and they respond especially to anything that smacks of celebrity.
That, in a nutshell, is why you want to have your own author presentation.
When you are scheduled to appear by a library, school or community group, that cachet of “celebrity” suddenly applies to you. “Surely,” people think, “this is someone important because the library wouldn’t have scheduled them otherwise.”
So they come and listen to your presentation. Each individual audience member gets to know and like you, and as marketing agencies always tell us, people buy from those they know and trust. You are much more likely to sell books to people you are looking in the eye.
No, they won’t all buy books from you. But a higher percentage of your physical audience will buy than your social media audience. So getting folks to turn out to see you is important.
For a really big celebrity, people will line up just to get a book signed. The rest of us need to provide a little more incentive than just our smiling faces. If you’ve ever sat alone through a couple of hours at your own book-signing event while shoppers try to avoid your eye, you know the feeling.
Giving a presentation rather than sitting with a pile of books not only keeps you busy, but also creates a little buzz. Random shoppers will wander over to see what it is you’re doing and the presentation topic gives you some meaty marketing material as well.
Once you have a presentation in your repertoire, you will be pleasantly surprised to find places where you can use it. In addition to libraries, bookstores and schools, try senior centers and churches. Community service groups are overwhelmed by please-support-our-cause presentations and will welcome something new and different. Book clubs, homeowners groups, scouting organizations – there are tons of options.
Some groups will even PAY you to give your presentation, which is a big plus. It’s nice to at least cover your gas money. But even if they don’t pay, it’s usually worth your while in book sales and leads. Remember, however to stipulate that you be allowed to set up a sales table for your books before agreeing to an engagement.
Having a presentation is an involved topic and we’ll continue to discuss it. In the meantime, roll the idea around in your head and get used to it as a vehicle for sharing your books with new readers.