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Authors, Learn How To Triple Your Foot Traffic At Any Book Signing Event

Increasing your foot traffic has just gotten super easy. Now you can own any book signing event even when you’re NOT the featured author!

Yep, it’s that time of year again. Spring is just starting to give way to summer and with it comes a book signing or two, a couple of book festivals, quite a few book events and more book tours than you can count. All with readers looking forward to meeting their favorite authors and possibly new ones, it’s truly a great time of year to be an author.

Most author’s love a good book signing, they get to interact with the people who they wrote their book for, see fellow authors, and overall have a great time in the process. Unfortunately other authors dread anything remotely close to having a table at a book event. They claim a host of reasons why, but it always comes down to one major thing… they get LITTLE TO NO FOOT TRAFFIC!

Honestly it’s embarrassing to know who is exactly coming out to see you. And it’s always the usual suspects; family (those who can make it), friends (those who remembered), and coworkers (those who can’t wait to hate and talk bad about you at work on Monday). So in order to avoid it all, you don’t even bother attending not one single event, but yet you still have hopes of being a successful author. Sorry to be the barer of bad news, but news flash, EVERY successful author has attended more than their fair share of book signing events and now it’s time for you too.

And you know what they say right? If you fail to plan, then you can plan on failing. This thinking alone is what separates the super successful authors from those who’s just standing behind a table full of books, upset and trying not to show it with a forced smile.

Ok, ok, ok. No more worrying about foot traffic or lack there of, so please keep reading because I have you more than covered to generate as much foot traffic as you can handle. Now let’s go over a list of things that will at the least (yes, I did say least) triple your foot traffic at any book signing event:

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Positioning: People who host book events for multiple authors usually have an early bird special when you get your table early for a discounted price. But their is a BIGGER (and way better) benefit than saving a few dollars when you get your table early; it’s called positioning. You want your table next to whomever the featured author is going to be. Depending just who the featured author is, will most times pull readers out of the wood work. Think Harper Hill, Brian W. Smith, Trice Hickman, Walter Mosley, and Reshonda Tate Billingsley to just name a few.

If you’re fortunate to have your table next to theirs do yourself a huge favor, don’t be nervous because they sit their butts in a chair to write their books just like you and it’s expected for you to benefit from their foot traffic. It’s the reason they’re the featured author (the draw) of the event. Just be respectfully professional and you’ll be fine.

And what if a book event doesn’t have a featured author of this magnitude? It’s ok, keep reading…

Get The Word Out Via Social Media: Drive readers via social media. Get the message out early and often. What authors usually do is post maybe two days before the event and think they have done more than enough marketing. Ah, no. You really need to be strategic about getting the word out (starting about two weeks from the event) and even consider running a few ads as well (do a little, ok do a lot of research before running ads). Now before you start thinking that’s not in your budget, you probably spend more on Starbucks and eating out for lunch every day than you would on a cost effective ad. You want success it comes with a bit of sacrifice, your call.

Of course you wouldn’t run any ad free or otherwise to the event alone, it would be towards to you (using your picture) and your location would be the event. And stop thinking that it’s the hosts job to market their event, you’re right it is, but it’s YOUR job to market YOURSELF and drive foot traffic directly to you.

Visiting Your Targeted Readers: Your readers like to eat, shop, hang out and believe it or not, socialize outside of social media. Why not go be social too? And no better time to be social is a few days before your book signing event. Let them know you’re having an event and would love for them to come out. Pass out as many flyers as you can and have a few books on hand for those who can’t make it, but would like to buy a book right at that moment. Now this only works if authors know EXACTLY who their target readers are (the number one reason authors don’t sell many books is failure to properly identify who their target market (reader) is. If you know who your readers are then you will know their likes and what they like to do. Trust me when I tell you that Nike knows exactly who their target market is for every style of shoe they have and where to find them at.

Unique Table Set Up: Ok here’s where you really need to stand out at.  The usual author table set up consists of books, flyers, maybe flowers, and definitely candy. Some go as far as having huge standing banners next to their tables (that’s a great way to stand out by the way). Your job is to do this, but do it better or not do it at all. Let’s go with doing it not at all. Meaning do something so different that people can’t help but stop past your table. One great and easy trick to really stand out is doing something as simple as emitting good energy. Yep, good ol’ positivity wins every time. You can stand out more just by smiling, complimenting women on their hair and men on their shoes, asking them things that can segue back to your books, etc.

Whatever you decide to do to stand out when making your table unique, the one thing you CAN’T do is half ass it. It’s either full ass or no ass at all. People can sense when you aren’t genuine in your efforts to be different, so to stay true to you, just be who ever you are and amplify it by 100%. A close mouth never gets fed and it never sells books either.

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Book Clubs: Use Facebook to locate and contact 15 to 20 book clubs that’s in the area of your book signing event and invite them all. Yep, every single one. Odds are all will not be able to attend, but for those who do, give them a FREE copy of your book as incentive to come out. And I already know what you’re thinking, give my book away? YES! First off to have a book club consider your book for the book of the month for their book club you’ll have to send one to them free anyway right? So look at it as saving postage and handling.

A great way to look at this economically is that if every book club representative that comes out averages at least seven club members excluding the one member you gave a free copy of your book to that’s seven potential sells to be made when your book is accepted as the book of the month for that book club. It also means 7 additional reviews on Amazon (or more sells and reviews depending if more than one book club picks your book to be the featured book of the month). See it’s not free, it’s all promotion that will lead to future sells and reviews at a later date.

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Coupons, Discounts, & Freebies: If I could see your face now, frowning all up at the thought of giving or discounting all of your hard work away, but trust me it’s absolutely the last thing you are doing. Let’s look at this through the lens of marketing shall we? What you’re actually doing is setting yourself up to grow your readership, using incentives now, and converting readers into paying customers a very short while later. And out of all of the tactics to drive people to your author table, this by far is my favorite. Why? First off because it’s proven every day in all walks of life. Second it’s because many authors lose out by not adapting this concept into driving foot traffic to their tables.

Stores always use BOGO (buy one get one free), buy one get another for 50% off, etc. Some authors do this to a degree, but not to it’s full effectiveness. The more books you have, the more combinations you can entice your readers with. This marketing tactic is a little challenging to do if you have only written one book, but will still work if you have at least one physical book and novella compiled into a downloadable pdf (click the link for an example of a few short stories compiled into a downloadable pdf). The true beauty of making your readers free book a downloadable pdf in the buy one get one free offer is that if it’s set up to capture the readers email address via an email service provider then you are REALLY maximizing your book signing event.

We’ll talk about why gathering email addresses is so important in a bit, but lets use an example of how this free and discounted stuff will make attendees of the book event seek your table out. If you have kids (that’s of age of course) or an assistant, what you would is have them do position themselves at the book events entrance and hand out a coupons/flyers for your books that’s only redeemable that day. The coupons doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just who you are, the title of your books, and the deal you’re offering. Make sure that you have a sign on your table reflecting the same coupon so they know they’ve found you. Two things from using this marketing tactic will drive foot traffic your way; they don’t want to miss out on a deal (I mean who does right?) and plain ol’ curiosity. If you don’t do any of the advice in this blog to triple your foot traffic, make sure you do this one thing because it’s a proven winner. TRUST ME!

Authors If Your Only Goal Is To Sell Books At A Book Signing Event… YOU ARE LOSING OUT BIG TIME!!!

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Emails: Earlier I spoke of why emails are so important to get from people who brought books at your event and here’s why: It allows you to continue the relationship you’ve already established long after the event is over. Have another book coming out soon and you need to let as many people know as possible, BINGO, you have an email list for that. Want fans to chime in which cover you should use for your next book as you give them two covers to choose from? Why not email them? You want to share a book excerpt to create anticipation and excitement? Hey I know, use that email list you have. The ONE danger you want to avoid is never try and sell your books to people on your list. Remember, the name of the game is ENGAGEMENT folks (if you don’t know, learn the difference between engaging your audience and selling to them). Engage people with what’s going on with your book and they will feel as though they are part of the process (because you included them in the decision making) so when the time comes for your book’s release date, you have ORGANICALLY BUILT UP ANTICIPATION which ALWAYS results in selling way more books. The two ways to capture a reader’s email address at a book signing event is either capturing it when they download their freebie book (I’m partial to Aweber) or simply having them write their first name only and best email address on a list that’s on your table. Either way, GET THAT EMAIL ADDRESS!

And if you’re thinking I could use social media to do what I’m advising you to do with your email list then please read on my friend…

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Get Social Media Heavy: Social Media is great, but you don’t control it. Shocking I know, but it’s true. And since you aren’t in control, it would not be wise of you to use it as the only vehicle to get your marketing message out to your fans. Even paid ads can be hit or miss (that’s why you do good research before running ads), but at least worth a look. But there are ways to make Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every Social Media platform that your readers are on work for you.

If you’re super busy (and if you are following my suggestions here you should be), then you may want to have your Social Media savvy teen or assistant give you a helping hand. Every person that stops past your table make sure you add them as a friend, take a picture with them holding their newly purchased book(s), and tag them in the post. Your social media reach will grow as you now start to show up in the news feeds of others (super important, always friend and tag via social media, ALWAYS).

Also throughout the day don’t forget to keep posting about your book signing event and asking others to come on out and join you. Offer some crazy kind of deal for the next 5 people who come out and mentioned they seen the post where you invited them out. The trick is to be consistent and vary your message, but always be enthusiastic when delivering it. Going live on Facebook or Instagram really helps here.

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Networking: Yes you will be super busy and even a little tired, but before you even think about calling it a day make sure that you take the time and work the room. Whether it’s your first book signing event or your fiftieth, go say hello to your fellow authors. If you’re not friends via social media make the connection, take the picture, and tag them. Pick their brains; if you’re ever at a book signing event with Author Brian W. Smith make sure to ask him how does he have such a loyal book club following (when I say book clubs love this guy, love is an understatement, I would say cult-like, but don’t want to offend anyone)? You are there with Omar Tyree, you have to ask how does he stay passionate after writing so many books? Lucky enough to be table to table with Leann Rhodes, make sure to ask how did she sell 400 copies of her book Rise Up, Shine On in little over a month. Remember to socialize with a purpose because iron sharpens iron and you will always be dull by yourself.

Thank You: First off thank YOU for reading this blog, I know it was a tad bit lengthy, but I honestly want you to triple you foot traffic at any book signing event and have a great time doing it. But the person YOU should be thanking is the host of the event. So make sure before you leave to find and thank them for giving you such a great platform to sell your books, grow your email address, and increase your readership and network. Of course you’re going to take a picture with them and tag them on social media. Yes you are thankful for the moment, but no need for the moment not to be beneficial to you!

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Yeah I know this blog was a lot to consume (you can never have too much good information right?), but in all modesty it’s so many actionable take aways in it that you won’t help but to succeed in tripling your foot traffic at any book signing event. Also by friending every person that stops by your table on social media and tagging them in every picture, getting their email address, and networking with your fellow authors will pay huge benefits long after your book signing event is complete. I know this blog is about tripling your foot traffic, but I took it a step further so that you can maximize every opportunity available to you. That’s what having a career as an author is about right? And to make EXTRA sure of it, I’ve provided you with a 10 point FREE downloadable checklist to reference before your next book signing event so you won’t forget anything.

And before you go could you do me just two small favors? First, if you found this blog helpful could you leave your comments below in the comment section and second, feel free to share this across social media as no author’s journey is meant to be traveled alone.

No time to write a book? Not even 3 pages a day? Then you don’t wanna write…

When people find out that you’re an author and that you have a few books under your belt, the first thing they say is they always wanted to write a book , but they just don’t have the time. Honestly I hear this more than I care to.

People say that like most authors don’t have the same life issues that every day people who don’t write. Most authors have jobs with time consuming commutes. Families who don’t understand the purpose of a writing cave and the peace it takes to get into a writing zone.

 

3 pages

If you’re still thinking that there isn’t enough time in the day, I say you just need to manage you’re time better because everyone has the exact same 24 hours in a day. My seconds, minutes , and hours aren’t different or longer than yours. Yet with a full time job that includes a roundtrip commute of an hour and a half, a family that loves me, but refuses to understand the concept that these books don’t write themselves, but yet I still found the time to write two full length books, two eBooks, two informative marketing pdf guides, and a growing blog. I also own and operate En El Publishing and En El Publishing Services.

So what you were saying about not having enough time again?

Before you think I have it all figured out; I DON’T, I’m still figuring it out. But I too, was quick to say I didn’t have the time to write my book, but I had time for my Lakers and I couldn’t miss my Bronco’s. I watched the WWE faithfully, I loved 24 so much that I was contemplating getting a dog just to name him Jack Bauer, and HBO’s The Newsroom had become the real news to me. I had time for everything I wanted to do, but couldn’t make time for what I NEEDED to do. That was until I made me writing my book a need and stopped wanting to write my book. Television Production Concept. Tv Movie Panels

So if you’re serious about getting that book out of you and onto some pages, the first thing you have to do is stop wanting to write your book and start needing to write your book. Need to write your book like you need to earn a living. Need to write your book like you need to eat. Need to write your book like you need to love. And if you’re wondering if it’s that serious, YES, it’s that serious. Because if you don’t take it that serious you will never get it done.

The second thing you need to do if you’re serious about writing your book is the actual writing part. You can want to do something, you can need to do something, but until you ACTUALLY do it, all you have are thoughts of doing it.

And I know you have a busy life and that you are tired at the end of the day. And when you finally get a moment to relax the last thing on your mind is to sit in front of your computer and finally get started writing, but what if I told you that I could help you, help yourself in finding the time not only in getting your book started, but seeing it through until completion?

I don’t want you reading this blog, getting all amped up to write your book without a way of getting it done. So watch the short video below, the message is simple, but if you’re honest with yourself you will see how you really have more than enough time to do what’s important to you.

You see how just by stop using your smart phone for everything else but being productive, you will have more than enough time in finally writing that book you once claimed you didn’t have time for. And now since you have more time in your day here’s the third thing you need to do when it comes to writing your book. WRITE JUST 3 PAGES A DAY!!! No more, no less. If you write 3 pages a day, for 60 days without missing a day, you will have written 180 pages. You will have written a full length book.

So do yourself a much needed favor and stop saying you don’t have time to write a book and do the three things I spoke of in this blog:

  1. Stop wanting to write your book and start NEEDING to write your book (know the difference)
  2. Actually write your book (the word ‘write’ is a verb and we know that most verbs are action words, so take ACTION)
  3. Write 3 pages a day, EVERYDAY (without fail)
 I love hearing from my readers so please feel free to leave me a comment below and let me know what’s stopping you from finally siting down and writing your book. And if you haven’t signed up to follow my blog already just do so at the top right side of the page and feel free to share this blog’s link via social media.

 

8 Rules for Kids That an Author Can Live By…

 

1.) Keep God First: Out of the rules my daughter and I discuss, keeping God first is my favorite. It helps her to try and see (she’s only 5 you know) that the owness of life’s hard times isn’t her own and thanks should be given in good and especially bad times This is done by keeping God first. As an author, especially a self published one, you will face more than your fair share of frustrations, setbacks, and disappointments. Keeping God first just as an author will take away the lonely feeling of no one understanding your struggle and giving you the strength to go on when you have ran out of reasons on why you should.

 

2.) Work Hard: Marlee wants to be an artist when she grows up, I’m sure that’s subject to change at least 20 times before she finds her life’s true calling, but as it stands now she wants to be the Basquiat of the crayon and pad. So when I come home from work and she has her markers, crayons, and drawing paper spread across the coffee table, but the t.v. on and the drawing paper still clean, I ask her just one question. ‘Marlee what do you want to be when you grow up?’ And with a sheepish grin she reaches for the remote and cuts the t.v. off. She understands that without hard work, her being an artist is just an answer to a question to what she wants to be when she gets older. As an author you are working on what you want to be. Now if you want to be a successful author , nothing will give you that much sought after success than hard work. Nothing. Period. Forget the ads you see on Facebook of how someone’s 3 secret steps will have you sell thousands of books. Or how by using their tried and true system, you too can become a bestselling author. If you were listening to me read this then you surely would have heard me laugh at the B.S. Anyone can write a book and for that you DON”T have to work hard, but if you want a successful career as an author than be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life

 

3.) I am Great: When Marlee and I first started to go over her rules together I would have her say I’m going to be great, now I have her say it in the present tense that she is already great and working on becoming greater. Being an author I think it’s vital to your success to know the day you sat down and dedicated yourself to becoming a successful author that at that very moment you became great and as you continue to hone your craft, you will without fail, become greater.  I know you look at your favorite authors and think ‘wow’, but your favorite authors at one time in their writing careers was exactly where you are today. And the one thing that not only your favorite author , but all successful authors have in common, is they know that they are great at what they do already. 8 rules

 

4.) I’m A Leader, Not A Follower: If the first rule is my favorite, then I’m a leader, not a follower has to be a close second. When Marlee gets around other kids and she’s ripping, running, and being bad as sometimes kids do, so I pull her to the side and ask her to recite all the rules. With an exhausted look on her face she just says rule number four since she knows that’s where I’ll stop her at to point out that she’s not currently being a leader, but a follower. And as you read rule number four, stop and ask yourself are you a leader or a follower. Are you playing it safe and continuously writing about what’s popular, or are you looking to write your truth, giving readers something else to think about instead of the same ol’ same. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are NO NEW stories under the sun sorry, but the way you present those stories can provoke thought and feed the passion of the masses. Sounds like a good leader to me.

 

5.) Time is More Valuable than Money: Out of the 8 rules, this one was the hardest for Marlee to comprehend… at first. And for that matter, most people that don’t  understand the true value of time. You see time well spent can’t be priced at anything, but since we are at a lost for  just how valuable time truly is, we waste it and wait for tomorrow with another 24 hours to be gifted to us. And the sad thing about that is we will waste those 24 hours too because we still don’t value time like we do money. Case in point you’re an author looking to be a success author, but that will never happen because you don’t value the most precious thing you have in your possession and that’s time. You never miss your favorite television shows, your phone is never too far from your hand, and the only time you feel socially awkward is when you’re not caught up in the redundant cycle of social media. The way you spend your time directly affects the amount of money you can spend.

 

6.) I’m Responsible for my Own Success and Happiness: Most adults can’t fathom that it isn’t someone else’s fault when they haven’t achieved the amount of success and happiness they’d like to have because as children they’ve been raised to believe that responsibility falls on someone else besides them. Any time Marlee is upset because other kids might not want to play as she’s playing or she didn’t get the desired results from the amount of work she put into a project, I clearly point out to her that she and no one else is responsible for her success or happiness. NO ONE. As all the rules that apply to my daughter, I think this one aptly applies to the majority of the authors today. YOU and no one else, but you are DIRECTLY responsible for where you’re at in your career as an author. If you feel you aren’t as successful as you’d like to be at this stage of your career, well look no further than the amount of work you’ve put in. No, honestly, take a hard, long look and if you can say you left it all on the table (or wherever you write at) before you go to bed then all left for you to do is be patient and wait on the work you put in to pay off. This is no one else’s life or career, but your own, so the responsibility of your life and career rests squarely with you.

 

7.) I’m A Problem Solver, Not A Problem: If you’re blessed with kids then you know they will come crying to you when the slightest thing goes wrong until you fix it and then five minutes later something else is wrong. So how do you get them to want to fix things for themselves? Help change their thinking that’s how. I help Marlee to see herself as a problem solver so when a problem arises her mindset is not to focus on the problem, but what’s the best way to fix it. As authors you will face problem after problem after problem; where does it end? It doesn’t, but a change in thinking is where you should begin. I learned the very hard way (or maybe that should be expensive) that you can’t pay everyone to fix your problems, especially on a shoestring budget. So you better become a problem solver quick or add being broke to the long list of mounting problems. And the beautiful thing about looking at potential problems as only questions that need to be answered, is that it always makes you more knowledgeable for it. Through that acquired knowledge I’ve learned to typeset, format, design e-book and full book covers, plus a host of other services . FIND OUT HERE to see all that En El Publishing Service offers.

8 RULES

8.) I Love Rainbows: In the beginning all we had was seven rules, I guess it was my ode to The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, but at the end of the rules I put together with Marlee she would always add ‘I Love Rainbows’ at the end. I would tell Marlee I’m trying to teach her life lessons early and loving rainbows really didn’t have anything to help you deal with the harshness of life. She  would bury her cute chin in her chest and sulk upstairs to her room. One day my wife waited until we got done with “our” rules and wanted to talk with me as Marlee walked off, head down and feeling defeated because I wasn’t trying to hear anything about rainbows. My wife calmly explained to me that she thought what I was doing with Marlee was great, but I could be doing more harm than good. I asked how did she figure that and she sweetly said to me that I wasn’t letting her be herself by expressing her like for rainbows. That if helping Marlee to be the best she could be shouldn’t she have a say in the matter? I sat back and thought about what my wife was saying to me and felt horrible. As an author I’m one of the biggest proponents of writing what YOU want to write and be free and as expressive as you possible could be. The next time Marlee and I were going over the rules she stopped at seven and didn’t bother mentioning anything about rainbows, I lifted her chin off her chest and asked her was she going to add rainbows this time? Her little crooked smile and bright eyes said it all. So authors be free, be creative, be unique, but most of all be you.