Well hello there, Reader!
People chatting with friends as they stroll through the park carrying glasses of wine.
The high school dance and cheer squads showing off this year’s show-stopping routines in a grassy field.
Vendors sacrificing baked goods to the resident Canadian geese in the hopes of earning fair weather from the vindictive sky gods.
I’m talking about art and wine festivals, Reader. Those two-day events were 10x10 pop-up pavilions line park pathways or Main Street in towns all across the US and beyond.
I grew up doing the art and wine festival in my hometown. Painting faces at the children’s theater booth to help raise money, then showcasing my own creations when I graduated college.
It’s always been one of my favorite times of year. When you can run into some school friend you haven’t seen since forever ago or discover a new treasure you didn’t know existed.
Now, whether you grew up as a frequent traveler of the pavilion-lined parks, or you’ve never had the pleasure, as a storyteller, you’re probably going to find yourself at a festival, fair, or convention at some point.
So when you find yourself sitting behind that table staring out at a sea of attendees, Reader…
Here are the Top 3 Most Helpful Things I’ve Learned from My Decade of Doing Live Events
1) Have a 1 sentence pitch for your book
Having a lengthy synopsis is great if you’re pitching to an agent or publisher.
But if you’re yelling over a dance team routine on a nearby field, pitching to a potential reader in a bathroom line, or having that infamous encounter in an elevator, you need a super short pitch for your book that not only reels in lots of readers, but the right ones.
Here’s mine for my newest release, Predestined.
Norse myth meets Bring It On in a queer, small-town romance.
Here’s another for the very first novel I released back in 2011. An Urban Fantasy Thriller called Daemons in the Mist.
A boy accidentally marries the girl of his dreams, a mistake that might just get him killed.
Remember these are intended to be pitched verbally so they have to be worded in a way that sounds good when spoken aloud.
Which brings me to…
Bookmarks are great and all. But if you don’t have a book to immediately put them in they’re a bit awkward.
So I invented the bookcard years ago. It contains the same info as a bookmark, but at the size of a business card you can put anywhere.
convention swag bag,
or even, you know, a book.
They can be matte on both sides or glossy on the cover side, but never order them with gloss on the backside. You want to have the option to right your booth or table # on them or other useful info.
Here are some things to include on the backside:
3) A general email signup
If you have a newsletter that caters to more than one audience trying to convey that at a live event is a terrible idea.
Because when faced with too many options people won’t pick one, they’ll often pick nothing.
It’s far better to have one single sign-up at the event. Then you can send them a welcome email afterward with a selection of available content options.
This is exactly what I did at the art & wine this past weekend and the one the year before.
Well, now that I’m back from all the festival craziness, I better get back to putting those finishing touches on my Predestined bonus story. I hope you have a wonderfully creative week!
Your cohort in storytelling,
PS 👉 I’d been all excited to do one of those unboxing videos for the first time since 2016. But unfortunately, the box of Predestined paperbacks that was supposed to arrive on Tuesday the 12th didn’t arrive until Friday and my husband missed the memo and opened it at the store without me. 🤦🏻♀️
(He did take a pic though.)
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The Saga Quest
1179 West A Street, Suite 137, Hayward, CA 94541