We’ve just launched ‘Zig Zag and the Giant Adventure’ at Burway Books in Church Stretton and the day went really well. We sold 44 books on the day with more before and after.
So , what did we do that worked? Here’s a check list:
· Get the support of your local independent bookshop. Be warned, they probably get a lot of aspiring authors coming through the door with their books. They will only be interested in supporting books which they think are good quality both in terms of content and production as they need to be confident that they will sell. We were lucky to get the support of Ros Ephraim at , a well-established bookshop which runs numerous events and promotions for local and well-known authors.
· Advertise your event. Use WhatsApp messenger to reach groups of friends, and twitter and facebook to advertise the event, putting updates, photos and snippets of information to keep people interested and reminded. Keep it fun and personal because the only people who are going to be looking are your friends,family and friends of friends. You want them to support you and spread the word.
· Go round to the local shops and ask them to put up a flyer for you. They usually will if you are holding your event at local bookshop because local businesses like to support each other.
· If you’re publishing a children’s book, send a PDF copy of your flyer to local schools and ask them to put it into any newsletters they send out to parents.
· Keep liaising with the local bookshop. Make sure you know what they want you to do. Burway Books wanted us to do a window display and Cherie Jerrard (illustrator of the book) used Molotow Chalk Pump Markers for the window artwork.
· Give away a freebie on the day – we had postcards of one of the illustrations from the book.
· Make it an ‘event’ especially if you’re launching a children’s book. We had children arriving dressed as Zig Zag the Stripy Spotosaurus, and others with their own drawings of Zig Zag. We also had a model ‘Zig Zag the Stripy Spotosaurus’ made for us by Pam Morris, a brilliant textile artist, www.limbolandstitchedtextiles.com. He sat next to us on a chair while we were signing books and the children loved him.
· Get the local press interested and book a photographer. We managed to get the Shropshire Star along to the event. The photographer was impressed with the window display and the model Zig Zag which gave him lots of photo opportunities. He picked up on the excitement of the children at the event and ended up doing a video interview with us. The article appeared in the newspaper and online.
· Have fun – keep the day exciting and interesting and talk to the people who arrive – it’s not all about selling books.