Q08: Publicity and Events

(This question is part of a larger subseries called Perpetual WIPs: Published Authors. For the remaining questions, see here.)

What sorts of publicity events/appearances/signings have you done since getting published, and how do these come about?

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Most things I’ve had to arrange myself. I’ve sought out places around my city that would be open for events, then when I have a reasonable plan of attack, I email my publicist, and she helps arrange the details. Don’t expect someone to do things for you, at least not at first. There’s going to be a lot of leg-work involved.

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For my picture books, I have been to various schools and parent organizations to talk about literacy and how reading is such a great way to help develop emotional intelligence – subjects that really fire me up! I follow up with a Q&A and book signing. It’s a lot of fun, and the feedback from parents and teachers has been amazing.

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Mostly I’ve done blog tours set up by my publicist, a mix of guest posts and their reviews. I’ve done one huge signing at the Romantic Times Convention, and it was a blast.

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Signings occasionally, because I get invited to do one by a bookstore that’s got a booth at a convention or whatever.  I really don’t like signings or readings.  I do enjoy participating on panels at conventions and do that when I have a chance.

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The gamut. I’ve done private parties and club openings, trade shows, science fiction conventions, book signings and book festivals, school visits and book clubs, writing conferences and career days. Nowadays, I try to limit my booksignings to group events — you get way more bang for your buck when you have a group, and that way, even if no one shows up, you can hang out with other writers. The sad fact is, even when you’re at the big houses, it’s usually up to you to plan publicity. No one loves your book like you do.

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The publisher organized my appearances at a library conference, but everything else was initiated by me. I’ve done library visits, bookstore signings and conferences.

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My publisher has sent me on two group tours, which have been really wonderful experiences! I have participated in a few East Coast signings with authors who were part of my debut group (organized by other authors in the group) and a few festivals (asked to participate by the festival organizer). I’ve also done a bunch of panels and signings with other local authors (the bookstore staff has emailed me). I also did a few school visits and a library visit in my hometown, which I arranged myself with the help of a former teacher.

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Most things I’ve had to arrange myself. I’ve sought out places around my city that would be open for events, then when I have a reasonable plan of attack, I email my publicist, and she helps arrange the details. Don’t expect someone to do things for you, at least not at first. There’s going to be a lot of leg-work involved.

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