How Does One Go About Getting Speaking Gigs When You’re Self-Published?

public-speakingIt has been said before that I do like to speak. Once I get on a roll, in fact, there is hardly any stopping me. This blog proves the point that as long as I think I have a forum to vent from, I show up every day to have my two pennies worth.

I would like to, at some point, combine my love of speaking with my love of writing and talk at great lengths to bored audiences about my books. I know this describes the famous book tours that an author would expect if he was traditionally published but what about if he’s a billy-no-mates and is self-published?

This is something that I will be looking more and more in to when the time comes for me to start bringing out my proper books. (the ones that are called novels) It will, of course, come back to the classic ideas of target audience and target market but in the modern day is it worth an authors time to press the flesh?

Given that you can reach potentially millions of people online, is there any point in talking to eight old ladies in a crusty library? Authors have now started doing virtual book tours around people’s blogs, for example.

I think there is still a purpose in meeting people face-to-face because there is a much higher probability of turning those people in to advocates/champions of your work. There are a few points to remember when arranging some book signings:

  1. Bunch them together in a particular place to keep the cost down
  2. Arrange them well in advance in order to prepare thoroughly.
  3. Pitch to bookshops that would be willing to stage an event.
  4. Don’t just rely on bookshops and libraries, think outside the box.
  5. Look for existing events that you could also turn up to that attract your target audience.
  6. Think of something else you could provide to attract people before you hit them with your book. E.g. a cookbook could follow a cooking demonstration.
  7. Promote the event to ensure that you get the people there.
  8. Team up with some other authors in your neighbourhood and put on a joint event.
  9. Prepare with proper marketing material (big posters of your front cover etc).
  10. Leave some signed copies behind, if you can, for follow-on sales.

Have you ever completed a book signing, or even a whole tour? What pitfalls are there to look out for? I’ll be looking at this subject in much more detail after the first novel is launched.

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