Writers: Last minute tips for events

With Planet Comicon just a couple of days away (it starts this Friday) I wanted to talk a little more about what I am doing to prepare for the event.  In prior articles, I mentioned having mats to stand on and actually standing up to greet people.  Today, I wanted to go down through the list of things I am bringing, including the items I have to give away.

First and foremost, I am bringing copies of my books to sell, including Daughter’s Search, which just came out.  However, I am also bringing things for people to take with them for free.  Having something for people to walk away with is a great way to make sure they will remember you.  In today’s market, you don’t want to miss out on the people who will go home and buy the ebook instead of the print copy.

  • The primary item I am giving away is a bookmark (with the back side pictured in this post).  I’ve found more people are interested in bookmarks than in business cards and with the cost not that much more than a business card, I order 2500 at a time.  Last year I gave away almost all of the box I had ordered.
  • I do have business cards, but as I mentioned, I found that once I started giving out the bookmarks, fewer people were interested in the business cards.  However, they are easier to put into a pocket and I still hand some out both at the convention and other places.  (They also make great small bookmarks.)
  • I have copies of my world map and Antar castle.  These are 8.5 x 11 on glossy 100 lb paper, so there is some substance to them.  I find a lot of people like the map (gamers and just people who are into maps) so it is one way to draw in some interest.
  • I have brochures that contains information on the books.  I’ve found that these are quite popular as well, though they are more expensive and generally only people who are actually interested in the series take them.
  • Plastic shopping bags.  I have four books now and I want people to be able to carry away a whole set without them getting damaged.  The bags are clear so that other people might see the books (a little free advertisement).  I meet another author once who went to the expense of getting bags custom printed with the cover of the book and he had one of those ‘doh’ moments when I suggested the clear bags.

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