Promoting author events on event listing websites
Atlanta’s Wordsmiths Books closed up shop yesterday, becoming the latest bookseller to fall victim to our foundering economy. As book publicists, we always try to schedule print and broadcast interviews in advance of bookstore talks to drive readers to the stores (where they will, presumably, buy books). This technique is somewhat dicey these days, not the least because the journalists themselves are facing layoffs.
Fortunately, a slew of websites have emerged that list and categorize author events. These include BookTour and LibraryThing Local. BookTour has lots of partnerships with other organizations including Indiebound and Goodreads, the idea being that you submit information once and it automatically appears on multiple sites. (The downside is that information can easily and inadvertently be duplicated.)
Bookforum Magazine is starting its own events calendar (similar to Artforum’s events calendar) at the end of the month / early next. Details of author talks (anywhere in the country) should be sent to Marketing Director Valerie Cortes at valerie[at]bookforum[dot]com. Or, you can simply include Valerie on your tour mailing list if that is more convenient:
350 Seventh Ave
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Another way to draw readers to an event is to hone in on the right readers. Yesterday evening, for example, I attended Lady Jane’s Salon, a reading series dedicated to romance fiction. A group of about 30 ladies (and gents) had packed into a Houston-street bar — a respectable crowd at any time, but particularly admirable given that the event succeeded New York City’s biggest snow storm of the season.
Gabi from Viking Penguin suggests using the site Meetup to find like-minded individuals. Groups are listed by location and interest and are run by moderators. Some groups are pretty general, like the outdoor adventurers who belong to The Next Adventure; others, like the the New York Turkish Coffee Group, have rather more specific interests. Like many networking sites, Meetup requires registration and groups must be contacted individually, so it takes time to list events (which are only listed with the approval of the moderator). Still, if you’ve written a book about Turkish coffee, where else can you reach out to 259 people professing a love for Turkish coffee? Actually, possibly at a site like Eventful.
With so many event listings sites available, book publicists can’t realistically take the time to submit information to each one, so authors, if you have time to lend a hand … No doubt I’ve left out other sites that list author talks nationwide. What are some of your favorite?
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