Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Making Yourself Available to Potential Buyers

Most of our authors have a website, which is great. Those who don’t are missing out on a large market. Most of those authors with websites have “Contact” pages with an email address so viewers (and potential book buyers!) checking out their site can ask questions. (How many lesson plans does the Common Sense book include? If I place an order for your books today, will they arrive before I leave for basic training next week?!, etc.)

In today’s technology-driven world, people are always looking for ways to connect, and quickly. Many websites I visit now have Skype buttons on their website so you can place a phone call over the internet.

Basic Training author Mike Volkin recently put a similar feature on his website here. It’s a Call Me button available from Grand Central Station. A potential customer can leave him a message which is emailed to him in .wav format. It’s a great way to put him in touch with his customer base and, most importantly, help sell more books.

Authors with websites, add this type of feature to your site. Authors without websites, get a website and then add this feature. =)

p.s. I wrote this blog post in a Word file, copied the text, and signed into my Blogger account to post it. When I logged onto the Blogger member homepage, there was a large article about Grand Central and adding the Call Me button to your website and blog. One of those instances where you see or hear about something once and then it starts popping up all over!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Planning Ahead – Battling the Weather

Tomorrow night, Playing with the Enemy author Gary Moore will be speaking to the Shreveport Bar Foundation in Shreveport, Louisiana. We’ve been planning this event since the beginning of October. Gary was supposed to fly to the event from Chicago (Tuesday’s forecast in Chicago: snow) tomorrow morning to speak to a few hundred people at the dinner tomorrow evening. A snow storm is hitting the Chicago area tomorrow and we feared that Gary’s flight out of Midway airport could be delayed or even canceled. This would be disastrous for the event coordinators and Gary, who has a whole Louisiana tour planned this week. Gary thought ahead, bumped his flight up to tonight, and will arrive a day early. The Shreveport Bar is more than relieved to have Gary safely in Shreveport, Louisiana (Tuesday’s forecast in Shreveport: sunny) one day prior to the event. Always keep unknowns such as weather and travel conditions in mind when planning an event. These last minute unknowns can ruin months of careful planning.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scheduling Events

Civil War News put out a great supplement section to their January 2008 issue titled “Calendar of 2008 Events.” Just as it sounds, it contains information on events throughout the year including date, location, description, contact info, and a website url. We’re using this section to plug our Civil War authors into book signing events and panel discussions at various events throughout the country. Luckily a number of our authors live close enough to these events that they can easily make the drive in a day trip.

Is there a similar type of calendar listing for your book’s genre? There are hundreds of Revolutionary War and Civil War events and reenactments that feature book signing events. Or is there a local author day at your library? Do some research and find out. Whether in print or digital form, find a list of upcoming events in your area that you could attend and contact the event coordinator about your interest. Or, tell your publisher where you will be and when (whether traveling for business or pleasure) and see what events you can latch onto. With spring just around the corner and the summer tourist season right after, it’s a great way to sell copies of your book during the busy season.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Author website photos

Sorry for my extended absence. Refer to Ted’s recent post regarding THE MOVE. (I officially hate AT&T as much as he does.)

We had three books come out last week, The Wars Against Napoleon, Surviving Military Separation, and The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine. Whew!

The illustrator for Surviving Military Separation, Val Laolagi, lives locally in El Dorado Hills. He stopped by the day the books arrived and we took some pictures of him with the book for our website. We currently have pictures of all of our authors in the Authors section, and are working on some sections of book signing events. Playing with the Enemy author Gary Moore has a great page on his website dedicated to past events complete with photos and captions of all who attended.

Do you have a photo of yourself with your book? If so, email it to your publisher and have them post it on their website.

Anyway, I’m back and won’t be absent for such a long stretch of time again. Have a great week!