Author/Reader Events for Marketing

Last night I was a guest on a radio show hosted by Marsha Casper Cook. We spoke a great deal about marketing as an author. I’ve been in this industry a long time and have tried a lot of things, but I thought I’d post about something that has worked well for me. Here’s the link to the recorded show if you’d like to listen to the entire conversation.

Author Talk

One of the topics we discussed revolved around what I have found to be my most successful marketing plan, which is attending author/reader events. I’m not referring to writing conferences that you can attend as an author to listen to panel discussions from other authors, but events where you as the author can actually interact with readers who come to meet their faves and new authors.

I set a goal in 2015 to attend one event a month. I used several resources to locate events in my area, then determined, based on my genre, which ones would be the most beneficial for me to gain readers. One of the links you can try is a Facebook Group called Author Events Around the US. You can also just Google Author Events in your city to see what is going on around you.  A few I have attended include Beach Babe’s Book Blast in Tampa, Indie Bookfest in Orlando, Authors After Dark in Atlanta, only to name a few. I’ve also connected with my local library and gotten on their list as an author speaker. They contact me when they are having events and would like to have local authors attend.

When I go to these events I bring the following:


Indie Bookfest 2015 4

  • Books to sign
  • Giveaway items, including:
    • Bookmarks
    • Business Cards
    • Jewelry themed to my books that I give away and sell
    • Candy
    • Postcards containing QR codes to all my ebooks (you’ll get some readers that only read ebooks and this way they can scan the code with their phone and go straight to the buy link)
    • Candy
  • Cash for change
  • An electronic payment method – Square, PayPal card reader, etc.
  • Laptop to play trailers, if power is available

The Advantages?

  • Meeting New READERS!!!
  • Getting new emails for my newsletter
  • A chance to talk about my books with people
  • Meeting Authors I haven’t interacted with yet
  • Seeing other authors’ swag items for ideas
  • Selling books – I usually sell out if there is a lot of traffic
  • They’re just flat out fun
  • Connecting with other authors who need my business’s services


  • Relatively expensive
  • Travel involved
  • Probably don’t make all your money back, but the readers you gain can be worth it

Review the event carefully to determine if the anticipated attendance and location will be cost effective for you, but I don’t think you’ll regret it if your travel is not too far and the event is a reasonable cost.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment or contact me. I’d love to discuss with you.

Check my Events page for those events I’m attending.

About Kelly Abell

I am a writer, blogger, and graphic artist. My aim for you is to utilize this blog to help you improve your writing skills, and to educate you on the publishing business. If you need help with writing, want to self-publish a book and need advice, or just want to kick a story idea around to see what works best, that's what I'm here for. As I gain knowledge from editors and publishers, I will share that knowledge with you. As writers we should always strive to improve our craft and grow. A day should not pass where you haven't learned or tried something new with your writing. Many thanks to my Night Owl Friend, Lea Ellen Borg for editing my posts! Best to you and all your characters and stories. Write on, my friends...Write on.
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2 Responses to Author/Reader Events for Marketing

  1. Reblogged this on Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR and commented:
    We all need input on what to do; here’s what Kelly does. (I’ll be doing some of these, too!) And an “events” page on your website = smart. It’ll make you schedule events.


  2. Thanks for the marketing ideas, Kelly.


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