As an author, holding author events is one of the most important actions you can take to promote yourself and your work, interact with your audience, and sell copies of your book. There are different types of events you can hold, including readings, book talks, Q&As, signings, or a combination of all of the above.
What is a reading?
For these types of events, you can read a portion of your book for the audience. If the event has a particular theme, it’s a good idea to choose a portion of the book that best relates to that theme. This gives the audience a firsthand experience with your tone, writing style, and the content of your book.
What is a book talk?
A book talk is a 10-30-minute talk/presentation about a topic directly or indirectly related to your book. People are more likely to attend a talk than a simple signing. A talk is generally followed by a question and answer session, possibly a reading, and then a signing at the end when you can sell your book. Now that you are a published author, people will think of you as an expert. You should think of 4, 5 or more potential 15-20-30 minute presentations/talks you might give. What would the topics of these talks be? You should make them interesting and compelling, so when people see the title of your talk, they’ll want to attend your event.
What is a Q&A?
Q&As, short for question & answer, normally follow a reading or book talk. If the event has a moderator or is being hosted by someone, they will likely begin this section by asking you prepared questions. Then they will open the discussion to the room, allowing members of the audience to ask you questions. This is a great opportunity to hear directly from the people, as well as share new facts about your book you may not have covered in the reading or book talk. It gives the audience a sense of who you are as an author, and as a person.
What is a signing?
For these events, you are just signing a copy of your book. Normally, you will be set up at a table where your audience can then come up to talk with you and have you sign a copy of the book they either brought with them or purchased at the event. Signings are a good opportunity to talk one-on-one with people who have bought your book. Signings are great additions to other types of events.
Holding a combination of any of the above makes for a well-rounded event. For example, a reading, followed by a Q&A, followed by a signing, gives the audience a chance to hear and experience your work, hear from you as an author, ask questions, and get a personalized copy of your book.
In order to promote your events to the best of our ability, we ask for 6-8 weeks notice in advance.
Because many of our authors juggle family, jobs, and other projects, it may seem unrealistic for us to expect you to let us know about your events two months ahead of time. However, it’s crucial when setting up events that you give yourself at least that amount of time to prepare. The further ahead you plan your events, the more time there is to spread the word, gain interest, and entice people to attend. Without this lead up, it’s quite difficult to have a successful event.
With 6-8 weeks notice, the Brandylane team is able to more effectively promote your book. Given an appropriate amount of time, we can locate and contact media and event calendars where your event is being held. Whether you’re in sunny California or right here in RVA, we will submit to event calendars to help your event gain as much attention as possible. People often have busy schedules, so seeing an event a month or two ahead of time will ensure they put your event on their own calendar! In addition to posting to local media event calendars in your area, we will also promote your event on our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) three times during the week leading up to the event.
When notifying us of an event, please be sure to let us know the time, date, location, website of the venue, contact email and phone number of the person you’re working with, cost and and other details of the event you’re able to share. Knowing if it’s a book talk or a reading, a Q&A or a signing, will help us in our promotional efforts.