Aug 27, 2008

The Faith and Fiction Retreat 2008 Recap


(to the left authors at eh Retreat's Lua and another pic of beautiful Destin, Florida)

Last week I returned from Destin, Florida and the Faith and Fiction Retreat.
The purpose of the retreat is to allow readers to come together in a spirit of sisterhood and to get up-close-and-personal with their favorite Faith Authors!

Author and playwright, Tiffany Warren hosted the event. This week I would like to share what I learned from the retreat. I hope it will help you have just as great of an experience as I had.

Today I want to talk about retreat on the side of a book marketing promotion.

2. How to Hack Your Book Event

Now it's a given...as an author your main goal when attending a book event is to sale books. However, when you think about your writing career you should first and foremost think of a book event is an opportunity to build lasting relationships with likeminded readers. Afterall, authors are readers, too.

But if you've attended a book event, you know that they are busy. One of the major gripes I hear from my author friends and clients is that there are too many authors and too little opps to sale books. However, I disagree. If you are a savvy sista writer, then you have to bring some savvy pr sense to the book signing table.

Let me give you my three good cents. You need to become a pro at hacking book events. More savvy than crashing a party, hacking an event is taking down your competitors, slashing titles, bringing the attendees to your table.) Here's how.

You need to prepare to accomplish three things in three phases at the event.
  1. Before the event
Not only do you need to finalize logistics, lodgings, how your books will be sold, etc, but you need to decide what kind of connections you want to make while there. Be it you want to reconnect with certain authors, you want to be introduced to an author, you need an author as a mentor, you want to connect with a bookclub president...before you get to the event you need to reach out to those individuals and invite them to enter a conversation with you now and to close it at the event. Set up a meeting, a dinner, an elevator chat--something scheduled--to make this connection. If you need to make restaurant reservations, cook a meal, whatever, take care of those things as well before you leave.

2. At the event- End the Conversation and Make New Connections

Be the life of the event. Make every opportunity to smile and connect with readers. Eat with readers. Befriend at least three and having a blast. Meet with your preconnections share your vision and have more fun.

3. After the event - Start a New Conversation

Wait about a week and reconnect with your new and old friends. Listen to the conversation, then start a new one, perhaps the one you were to chicken to ask when you met in person for the first time...And have fun.

Why?

To create long lasting relationships with your writing community and to give yourself something to look forward to besides selling and to change your mindset about the task. If you are a closet shy person like myself than the thought of selling your novel takes you mentally out your element and away from your fun zone. Remember if you're not having fun, then you're doing something wrong.

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Dee Stewart is a writing diva mother, News Editor for Hope for Women Magazine(covering the DNC this week,) inspirational book reviewer for Romantic Times Magazine, Atlanta Satellite Bookseller for Mocha Readers Bookstores, and owner of Christian Fiction Blog and The Christian Fiction Network. Her writings have appeared in: Spirit Led Woman, Gospel Today, Good Girl Book Club, The Dabbling Mum, Atlanta Christian Family, Mosaic Literary, Precious Times, Vertical Fix just a few. Visit her at www.deestewart.com. Follow me on Twitter at DeeGospel

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