Author of Urban Fantasy and Horror

Insights From the Baltimore Book Festival


This past weekend I went to the Baltimore Book Festival. As always, I had a great time! Over the past three years I've gone  I've picked up a few insights on ways to have a successful signing/appearance at large festivals. Here are a few of the things I learned.

1. Candy is always nice at a signing. It draws people in without me having to shout them down to get their attention.

2. Bring a sign in book for your readers and potential readers to sign & join your newsletter.

3. No more author's tent. See 4.  

4. If your author brand isn't widely known, join a signing with a brand that is. RWA for instance. All RWA and Sci Fi/Fantasy events attracted lots of readers. Those readers come for the panel and many stay for the signing. This equals book sales!

5. Readers don't like walking by tents and having promo items shoved at them as they walk by. I've never done this, but I've had it done to me. It's also a waste of money to shove promo items (like postcards) onto people who don't want them. Many trash them once the person who gave it to them is out of sight.

6. Bring a buddy if you have a long signing. In 2013 when I signed in the author's tent, I committed to eight hours. That's a long time! Everyone else had their spouse with them, so they could take breaks to use the bathroom, eat, and stretch their legs. I was alone so I only took two rushed bathroom breaks.
Using the buddy system at a long signing makes for a much more pleasant signing. 

That's all I can think of right now. I took notes, but I lost them. D'oh!

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