First Friday Event @ Beyond Barcodes Bookstore

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This evening, I’ll be hosting a booth at Beyond Barcodes Bookstore as part of First Friday’s in beautiful Downtown Kokomo. This will be my first local author event in like . . . six months. I’m waaaay overdue.

This month’s theme is local artists. Fitting, considering I’m a local author.

From roughly 6:30 pm to 9 pm, I’ll be meeting with potential new readers and selling copies of The Quest for the Holy Something or Other and The Wizard’s GambitI’ll also be sponsoring my local group, The Writer’s Cafe. In hopes of attracting new members, I’ll provide a notebook for a “shared write” activity. It should be a lot of fun.

If you’re in or around Downtown Kokomo tonight, come say hi. If not, chat with me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Happy Friday!

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Are Local Author Events Worth Doing? Reflections from Friday’s Read Local Library Book Fair

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My booth set-up.

On Friday, May 1st, as part of First Friday’s in downtown Kokomo Indiana, the Kokomo Howard County Public Library (KHCPL) hosted a book fair featuring local authors from Howard and neighboring counties. Nearly 30 authors participated on that day, including me and my friend Teri Robison, author of The Secrets of Heavenly. 

I had low expectations going into this event considering the library has hosted similar events in the past with little success. The media coverage was sparse to say the least. My own feature in the Kokomo Tribune had run several months ago, and all of the articles the week of the event focused more on Saturday’s speaker rather than on Friday’s authors. With that in mind, I only brought about 30 books and half of my table decorations.

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Even mom showed up to offer her support!

However, once the event got underway, and once I sold a couple copies of my book, my expectations quickly rose. In less than three hours, I met with over 15 potential new readers and sold about a dozen copies of my book, which is cash in my pocket. Several of those readers recognized me from cosplay conventions. Several others were excited to hear about my book and future projects. It’s safe to say, I’ve made a few new fans who I can’t wait to see again at future events. Not only that, but I had a great time interacting with everyone who stopped by my booth. When the night was over, I was reluctant to pack up and leave.

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Working the buddy system

So, do I think local author events are worthwhile?

Yes!

Not only do they provide opportunities to sell your books, but they are also a great way to meet the local readers, encourage literacy in your community, and practice talking about your book. You’ve got nothing to lose but a couple of bucks and a few hours of your time, which are well spent.


Here are some ways to make the most out of any author event:

  • Bring lots of books. Better to have too many than not enough.
  • Hand out bookmarks and business cards with your websites.
  • Showcase your blog or social media site as part of the display.
  • Decorate your table with bright colors and fun items.
  • Include one conversation piece as part of your display.
  • Include a sign-up sheet for your newsletter.
  • Bring change in a money box.
  • Dress to impress.
  • Arrive early and stay late.
  • Smile and engage your audience.
  • Talk about your book.
  • Share your sense of humor.
  • Mark your prices lower than Amazon so readers get a deal.
  • Direct them to Amazon reviews while you chat.
  • Did I say smile?
  • Bring a buddy. Work the buddy system.

Anyway, I hope you find that advice helpful. Most of those tips were shared to me by Author M. T. McGuire, who I greatly admire. She’s the one who told me about the “conversation piece,” which by the way, really works! Mine is a stuffed rabbit from Monty Python. Fans of the movie hurried to my booth to play with the rabbit and learn more about my book.

And of course, thanks again to everyone who showed their support on Friday! Happy Monday!

5 Reasons to Read Local

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Today’s the big day! My first local authors event, and I’m so excited! I’ve got everything ready from the tablecloth to the decorations, from the books to the bookmarks. If nothing else, the booth will look amazing. Haha! But mostly, I’m looking forward to meeting local readers and having a chance to share my book with them.

I’m aware that most of my followers on WordPress are not from Indiana, so I don’t expect to see you there. And I don’t expect you to get a plane ticket and fly all the way out here either. Haha! But here’s a list of reasons to read local that apply to any local community:


1. You’re supporting your local community.
Local authors are also your neighbors. They live, work, and shop in your community. By purchasing their books, you’re keeping money in the community, which benefits everyone.

2. You’re encouraging others to read.
Writers are artists. Like musicians and painters, they spend years learning and mastering their craft. And like musicians and painters, their craft contributes to the local arts. Art helps communities thrive and attracts tourism, so support your local author.

3. You’ll broaden your horizons.
The bestsellers lists only make up a small portion of the talent that’s out there. If you only read books from that list, you’re missing out on many great authors–maybe even your next favorite author! So give local authors a chance!

4. You’re supporting local literacy.
This might seem a far stretch, but think about it. When we celebrate local authors, we are promoting literacy in our community. Meeting a local author or seeing a work published by one might encourage someone to read or to improve their own reading and writing skills.

5. You’ll encourage future authors.
Nothing motivates young people to take a stab at their dreams like seeing someone else succeed first. If they see local authors being celebrated in their community, they will be more apt to try their own hand at publishing. Won’t somebody think of the children!


Well, that’s 5 reasons, at least, why you should read local. I’m sure there’s 10 or more, but I’m out of time. I’ve got a lot to do before the event. So anyway, wish me luck, and if you do happen to be in Kokomo IN this evening, please stop by and say hello!

Upcoming Author Event: Read Local Library Book Fair at KHCPL

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Most aspiring authors dream of becoming a famous published author who travels all around the world attending book signings and author events. But let’s face it, the reality is a far cry from the dream, especially for us Indie authors who practically have to beg for opportunities to showcase our works.

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Come say ‘hi’ and get an autographed copy of my book while supplies lasts!

For me, the opportunity came sooner than expected. This Friday the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is hosting an event for local authors, such as myself, to share our works of fiction with the local community. The event is from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the main branch. During this time, 30 plus authors from Howard county and several surrounding counties, including my close friend Teresa Robison, will be available to meet readers and sign autographs.

The goal of the event is to encourage reading, the idea being that “If you meet an author of a book, it enhances your reading experience, takes it to a new level.” -Lisa Fipps, director of marketing and community co-organizer of the author fair. The second goal is to showcase the talent of local writers, providing them a venue to sell their books. I’ll be given one table and two chairs to meet with readers on this date. If you’re in the area, feel free to stop on by and say hi!

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Yeah, even my book has a glamour shot!

The book I’ll be showcasing at this event is my debut novel, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other, an Arthurian parody that centers around the misadventures of Sir Kay and his page, Pig, as they seek out the elusive holy . . . whatever it is. If you’re unable to attend the event, or live too dang far away, please visit Amazon to order your copy today!

As always, thank you for stopping by! Happy Hump Day, everyone!