Episode 146: Planning and Running an Author Event

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In today’s episode, Angeline shares her experience of organising and hosting local events. She offers up ideas of different types of events, and various approaches you can take. She discusses promotion and how to set up your stall, as well as top tips in the run up to, and on the day of the event.

Listen on your favourite platform HERE.

Planning Your Event

  • Decide on your goal for the event
  • Decide on your target audience
  • Will it be a solo event, or will you invite others to join you?
  • Will you hire a venue, or find a free option?
  • Will it be indoors or outdoor? If it’s outdoors, you’ll need a contingency plan for bad weather.
  • What time and date will you hold it?
    • Weekend or school holidays for a family-oriented event
    • Maybe an evening away from school holidays for an adult event
  • Will you charge an entry fee?

Preparation

  • Don’t start promoting too early, but don’t leave it too late either
    • 4 weeks of social media promotion
    • 3 weeks of local promotion (posters)
    • 2 weeks of paid advertising
  • Be available to answer questions: clear your schedule before the event
  • Don’t leave anything until the last minute
  • Be adaptable and ready to make changes
  • Get book stock and promotional materials in plenty of time
  • Check in regularly with the venue and any other traders and helpers

Setting up your stall

  • Always have a covering for your stall to look professional, and cover under-table storage
  • Pull up roller banners look really professional, and give a tidy, on-brand backdrop to your stall
  • Different heights and levels on your stall add some interest
  • Don’t make your stall too neat, and encourage people to handle your books
  • Always display prices clearly: lots of people won’t ask, and won’t buy if they have to ask
  • If you have freebies, mark them clearly
  • GET A CARD READER!
  • Be friendly and chatty, but don’t jump on people, and give them time and space to browse. Look approachable: don’t be stuck on your phone all day
  • Supply bags: I use paper bags, not plastic, branded up using stickers
  • Have plenty of change and float
  • Bring your favourite pens for signing books
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Know where the toilets are!
  • Bring hand sanitiser
  • Wear comfortable clothes!

Resources

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Music credit:
Rogue One by Serge Narcissoff | https://soundcloud.com/sergenarcissoff
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com/
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en_US

 

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