online book events

For the first week of isolation, it was easy to imagine a return to normalcy. It’s important to note that all online events come with real safety concerns, which can be a serious barrier to experimentation. By the third week, I had swung from denial to despair at the never-ending stream of news of illness and death, health care system failures and government malfeasance. “By hosting a great event where you have hundreds of attendees—but no sales—you have maybe gained some readers. The American Booksellers Association has collected a list of articles on how to host an effective event on Zoom, GoToWebinar, Crowdcast, Skype, social media livestreams, and more. Please support our work by, Free and Cheap Live Poetry Events You Can Watch Online, We Survived the Masquerade of the Red Death and All We Got Were These Beautiful Pictures, 11 Iconic Red and Black Outfits from Film and TV. Ackerman says she and her co-author rely on the street teams’ blogs to point to the event, a strategy she describes as lots of windows, one house. Eventually, she saw that people grew tired of those, so she and some authors switched to “buy one, get one.” For example, if a reader bought her new book and sent a proof of purchase, she sent a backlist book for free. “Destined to become a staple reference book for writers.” —Publishers Weekly. Enter your email address to follow The Story Reading Ape's Blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. And for those authors who intend to focus on online events: while it’s a good (and necessary) idea, such events don’t automatically lead to online book sales. Upcoming events include a crime fiction panel on April 22, featuring Emily Koch ( Keep Him Close ) and Phoebe Morgan ( The Babysitter ), and a historical fiction panel on April 29 with Nikki Marmery ( On Wilder Seas ) and Neil Blackmore ( The Intoxicating Mr. Lavelle ). If a street team is out of the question for you, look for other like-minded partners. These restrictions are not ideal for digital space. Electric Literature is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2009. They came, they saw, they enjoyed, they maybe signed up for your email list. Create a year-long strategy with several phases that can be rolled out over time to make sure you stay connected with your audience and keep your book front of mind.”. With the audience primed to expect a sale, the writer will have less trouble working up the courage to deliver the call to action at the event.”. So why are we still limiting book events to what is possible in person? It’s not a perfect solution—for one thing, there are still far too many people without access to computers or the internet at home—but online events are a big improvement for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, those caring for children, those in rural or poor areas without bookstores, and others with countless barriers to weeknight events. Thus, even if you offer a creative and enticing online event, it’s hard to market them (much less sell them) when so much content is now available for free.

( Log Out /  Before you decide to run an online event, consider the following.

Be yourself. Others will be more comfortable for some authors than others, and not every book will have a natural tie-in to these ideas.
Your first two issues are free. Online events don’t have to feel like placeholders for the “real” thing while we wait for an increasingly far-off return to crowded rooms. In the context of COVID, it felt strange and kind of magical, like something that would happen in a novel. “I craft the posts in text and HTML to make it easy [for them] to drop in, and create three different versions which I split into three groups so not every blog has the same images and content.” Also, she says, be sure to offer street team members a thank-you gift afterward. But publishing a novel has been a lifelong dream for me, and book events have been an important part of that dream—because other authors’ events have been such meaningful parts of my own inspiration. This worked well and made it easy for us to distribute the free item.”, Kole says any ask for a sale can be galvanized if you offer a promo code or discount with an expiration date. Bookstores and literary festivals, podcasts and grassroots publicity efforts, and publishers and authors had intrepidly brought their work and energy online, gathering readers together despite the pandemic with heroic success. Top Picks Thursday! Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. But I still felt optimistic. We set up a Gmail account just for this and asked people to submit proof of purchase to it. ( Log Out /  “Thinking outside the box to do something fresh is what attracts attention and gets people talking and sharing.” In other words: your first successful online event may not be replicable; you have to mix things up to keep attention over a series of events.

“I think an online launch is all about increasing your reach,” says novelist Kristy Woodson Harvey. Most events are still following the old-fashioned format of the in-person bookstore event, where two authors have a conversation, maybe with a short reading, maybe with an audience Q&A. By my fifth week of staying at home, I felt like I was living in special features. Whatever tactics you adopt—whether sales oriented or relationship oriented—Kole says, “Writers need to market now more than ever. It’s now possible to fill every lunch hour and evening with book clubs and book festivals and live readings and more. The internet offers incredible varied tools for storytelling, playing, creating meaning, and connecting. In the past few months, I’ve gathered hope from the ways our art and literature is shifting to reflect and respond to these new times.
Kole says, “To me, this is the writer’s ‘nice and polite’ way of asking for a sale without asking for it because, again, they feel icky about it.”, But the ideal way to frame an event that leads to sales? Ackerman says while she and her co-author might give away books at their events, they tailor prizes to their readership. The entirety of the publishing community has turned its eye toward online events as a way to spread word of mouth about books—even as lockdown restrictions have eased. As COVID has become our new normal, book events have started up again, in virtual formats.

I’m grateful for and impressed by the work many have done in developing effective ways to block trespassers; as we experiment with new formats, security measures are a non-negotiable prerequisite. Online Book Events: A Necessary Pivot in 2020, But How Do You Compete? Site designed in collaboration with CMYK. The entirety of the publishing community has turned its eye toward online events as a way to spread word of mouth about books—even as lockdown restrictions have eased. But as reopening plans falter nationwide, and it’s clear that gathering 30 or 50 people into a bookstore isn’t going to be a responsible choice anytime soon, it’s time that we start playing around. To get readers?


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