Let’s continue the last conversation on connecting with new readers. Once again, I’m not against setting up a table with a couple signs and a stack of books in hopes that people will come and talk to you.
But here’s a better way, be proactive. Make a connection with the community you’re visiting or connect your events to particular holidays or local events (I give a couple examples in the podcast).
When meeting a potential customer, Don’t spout out your elevator pitch. Save that for publishers and agents. This is a person who might spend money to buy your book. But to do that, you have to connect with them emotionally. People get emotional about books.
And please be proactive. In today’s world, you can find fans on Facebook or on Instagram. Use hashtags and locate them. If you’re coming to Miami, and you just wrote a murder mystery, then hashtag book clubs and mystery fans in Miami. Then DM them about your event. You need to give people a reason to come to you.
Let’s try this: you wrote a mystery novel, and you happen to be a fan of Carl Hiaasen. You’re coming to Miami to host an event where you’re going to discuss the five greatest mystery novels of all time (and no, you’re book doesn’t go in that list). You want to explain to people what makes for a great mystery and you’re going to point out those examples in some of the books, such as within a Hiaasen book. At that moment you come back and tell people how Hiaasen inspired you, and you tried adding that to your book, then read an excerpt from your novel. In the end, you ask people to participate by getting the audience to share what makes for a great hero, a great villain and let them vote on the most magnificent mystery book ever. Then give something away for free and make sure everyone knows you aspire to one day make that list…then show them your book.