Posted by: nancycurteman | October 26, 2012

How to do an Author’s Book Event

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KillerIdeasForSafeTravelRecently I did an Author’s Book Event. After my event I received several questions from my blog readers and other authors about how I planned and presented the event. There are probably many different answers to the question: How to do an Author’s Book Event. So, I will share one process, mine.

My first step was to contact my local library and speak with the events planner. We agreed on a Book Event date and time.

My next step was to determine the agenda for the event based on the tine allotted to me and share it with the events planner. She allotted me an hour and a half with an additional 20 minutes to set up. She arranged seating and advertising. In addition, I posted some flyers in places that had bulletin boards—Starbucks, Pete’s Coffee

So, here is the agenda I created and how the actual event worked:

10:40   I arrived and set up my table. On the table I displayed my books and recipes for foods mentioned in my mystery novel—Lamingtons, Pavlova and ANZAC Biscuits. I also baked six dozen ANZAC Biscuits for attendees to taste.

11:00   I mingled with people as they gathered for the event while my husband assisted me by selling books to those interested in purchasing them.

11:15   I shared a brief introductory piece about myself. I talked about my earliest writing experiences, influences on me as an author, my blog, and the novels I had already published. I explained why and how I started writing mysteries.

11:30   I described my writing style which is character driven and contrasted it with plot driven novels.

11:40   I shared a synopsis of the novel I was highlighting for the event, “Murder Down Under.”

11:50   I described the traits and origin of three of my main characters and two of my secondary characters. I read short pieces about each of them from my book.

12:15   I took questions and signed books.

12:30   The event ended, but people stayed to chat and ask more questions.

Why have a Book Event rather than just a book signing? Simple, it provides a great opportunity to interact with readers, you get great questions, it sells books and it’s fun.

Now take that leap in the dark and plan your own Book Event. If you’ve done an author’s book event, I’d love to hear some of your ideas.

More marketing tips:

14 Suggestions for Creating a Marketing Plan

How to Create an Author’s Platform

How to Create a Press Kit



  1. Wonderful breakdown for an event with a smooth flow.


    • It was a fun way to get my book out there and benefit attendees as well.


  2. […] Review (Christine M. Grote) * How to Promote Your Book For FREE (Global Mysteries) * How to Do an Author’s Book Event (Global […]


  3. Nice to meet you, Nancy! The ‘other’ Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way directed me here because she thought your post might be helpful…and it surely was. 🙂 I’ve done a bunch of book events at libraries, Christian Family Store and other venues…and I can pinpoint one area where I am lacking…the mixing with the attendees…most of my events entail me doing crafts and reading stories to children…but it is the parents who are going to buy the books. 🙂 I will have to plan better and make sure there is time set aside for me to interact with the adults as well as the kids. Thanks for an awesome post.


    • Hi Vivian, Thanks for checking out my blog. Sounds like you’ve had lots of experience with book events. I’d love to hear about some of your strategies.


      • I never thought of doing a post about how to seek out, set up and follow through with book events…perhaps I should. 🙂 Your post was GREAT! I think you are more organized than I am and have done a better job of providing time for the book selling part of the event. 🙂 I’m happy we have connected!


  4. Nancy – thanks for such a wonderful account of your successful event and the tips included for other successful authors having their own! Nancy Hatch, of “Spirit Lights the Way,” sent me over here as an encouragement for the future time I might get my own photo & poetry book published and ready to roll out! My mind immediately went to an alternate universe where my own event will take place, that I believe that I will blog about. Please don’t see it as an attempt at denigrating your fabulous post. It’s just that while others might have good thoughts in re such a possibility, I’m not there yet. 😆

    Exactly when in your successful writing career did it dawn on you that you could actually “make it?” I do admit to a growing internal feeling of confidence in what I do, but it takes little these days for that balloon to pop and I often wonder about the psychology of “success.” As you know, the market is flooded with books that display such a wide variance of talent that I am amazed at the audacity of self-publishers and well-known publishing houses alike that purport to bring us a good read of some sort. Not just bring it, but SELL it to us. I refer to myself as a whining perfectionist of a sort, Perfectionist in that I think that I have written perfect poems or taken perfect photographs, and whining because not enough other people seem to agree with me. They’re just jealous, right?

    Ah! The life of a writer. The odd thing about it all is that don’t want to do anything else, and after a while the self-flagellation is understood to be a part of the whole enjoyable and masochistic way of the life of a writer! (As if!)

    All that silliness aside – thanks for the great post. Wish I could be around wherever you are when you present your next event. Sounds like fun!
    In the meantime, I think I’ll buy myself a good mystery to read. Any suggestions? 😉



    • Hi Paula, I’m glad you found my post useful. I really believe authors need to support each other that’s why I wrote this piece. Your book of poetry and photos sounds great. As for that “make it” feeling, I felt it in two steps: 1. When a publisher accepted my novel. 2. When friends and acquaintances seemed to have enjoyed reading it.

      You’re right, there are thousands of books out there, but there are also millions of readers. Some of them will want to read your book. I don’t know the reason some people have had a negative response to your work but I do know this: If you really feel good about your work then go for it because there are people out there with your same taste in photos and poetry.

      I have so much fun creating my story people and their adventures that I don’t worry too much about whether everyone will love them or not.

      One more word, most authors do not become millionaires!! Surprise.


  5. Thank you, Nancy, for your reply! I have no doubt that there will be books with my name on them (and not just as signatures on a gift I purchased for a friend! – besides, there is a book out there with my name in it – it is a book that was dedicated to ME!! I asked the author to make sure she included my full name at the time of publication because I wanted my name in print somewhere and figured that was my best bet for that to actually happen!). I also have no doubt that I will make money with my books. Right now I’m counting on about $3.94 that will be divided equally among my three children, which comes to $1.3133333333333 each, give or take $0.00003 or so when I die. The executor or the courts will have to decide who gets that extra fraction of a cent. I always have wanted to leave a bequest behind. Of course they will also divide among them the 37 cartons of unsold books that will be molding in the basement, but by golly, I will die knowing that the money I spent on self-publishing was worth it – just knowing that I would be able to leave behind me something besides my bones!

    Best of all, however, will be as you say – I have had FUN – every single minute I spend writing (and I spend most of mine doing so) has been wonderful fun – even those frustrating times when searching for le mot juste to complete the perfect sentence or rhyme.

    As you may have guessed, writing about writing is fun for me, too! 😆

    Have a great day of writing, and for God’s sake, PLEASE, put some books between the bookends on your header! Otherwise your readers will think you’re a lousy housekeeper and that all your books are scattered all over the house on the floor, stairs, and/or counters. . . I wish you, as always, enough. . .


    • Paula, Have you thought about writing humorous books? I love your clever wit.


  6. […] from Global Mysteries:  How to Promote Your Book For FREE * How to Do an Author’s Book Event * What to do When a Publisher Rejects Your […]


  7. […] Review (Christine M. Grote) * How to Promote Your Book For FREE (Global Mysteries) * How to Do an Author’s Book Event (Global Mysteries) *  What to do When a Publisher Rejects Your Novel  (Global Mysteries) * How […]


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