Thursday, April 27, 2017

Making the Most of Book Fairs & Giveaway

So this weekend I had the pleasure of being in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for SOKY, a book festival. It was a great weekend on so many levels. My oldest traveled with me since she needed to be in Bloomington, Indiana, the day after the book festival. What did she want to do on the car ride? 
Listen to Beyond Justice on audio book. Go to the bottom to enter a giveaway for your copy of this audio book. Can I just say it is surreal to listen to the very words you wrote? The narrator has done a really nice job, and there were several times I had to smile as I thought, "I wrote that!" It's very fun! And I love that she wanted to listen. I kept stopping the CDs to see if she was bored, but she insisted she wasn't.

Read to the end where you'll get an opportunity to enter a giveaway for a copy of the audiobook.  [Tweet "Love #audiobooks? @cara_putman is #givingaway Beyond Justice. Join the fun."] 

SOKY is a book festival. It's an opportunity for readers to meet authors and discover new books. It's also a great chance for writers to have fun together. Look at our smiles. I don't need to say anything else.

So today, I thought I'd share a few tips for how to make the most of a book fair experience.

1) Readers, be sure to bring a bag for all the awesome books you're going to discover. Do you see all those tables behind me and the books in front of me? Those are going home with you. You think you'll be strong, but the books will call your name. My oldest bought three books -- all hardcover. And then I bought a book for those left at home. I purposefully didn't buy any for me...but that only lasted until Bloomington. 

2) Authors, bring comfortable shoes. You really want to be ready to stand and talk to people. It's too easy to disengage when you're seated and let people walk by without a word. You have to be nicely assertive so that they'll slow down long enough to say hello. Next thing you know, they'll be looking at your book. 

 3) Authors, sit with friends. It makes everything much more interesting. You can talk about your friends books and they can point people to yours. Also, be sure to have something to hand out to people. Many people said they were going through once to look at everything that was there. Whether they got back to my table, they now had my bookmark that they could look at from the comfort of their home.

4) Readers, ask to get a photo with the author. You will absolutely make their day. If you've read our books, let us know. If you haven't, tell us what you like to read.

5) Authors, have a SHORT pitch for your book. I had two WWII books as well as Beyond Justice there, so I would quickly state that Shadowed by Grace is about the Monuments Men traveling up the boot of Italy, and Beyond Justice was compared to John Grisham and Joel Rosenberg by Library Journal. Both were quick and let readers know in a moment if these were books they might be interested in.

I hope these tips are helpful. Book fairs are a lot of fun--and exhausting--even for this extrovert.

A reader made this graphic, and I realized it captures probably my favorite thought from this book.

 After SOKY ended, A and I headed up to Bloomington and straight to Panera for sustenance. Across the street from Panera stood a Barnes & Noble, so we had to stop in. Look what I found on the shelves! I may have jumped up and down like a little girl...okay, no maybe about it.

I hope you've had fun looking at the photos from this weekend. It truly was a lot of fun. Now for the promised giveaway: the audio version of Beyond Justice. a Rafflecopter giveaway



Stephanie H. said...

Even though some of the other authors look familiar to me, I only recognized you Cara.

Jennifer said...

Same for me you are the only one I recognized but I probably do know them. Also, can you give details about this event? My mom and I were both looking for something to do together like this since we both enjoy reading. Christian fiction is what we like to read. I'm glad you had so much fun. I listen to audio books to and from work all the time to help the two hours pass more pleasantly .
jennydtipton at gmail dot com

Cara Putman said...

Stephanie, yeah! Jennifer, different areas have bookfairs. So think of a large ballroom filled with table. Each table had an author with stacks of books. The authors are loosely organized and you get to explore and meet authors. Authors also have breakout sessions where they talk about their books. It's great for meeting favorites and learning about new-to-you authors. This particular one was free -- the only cost was the books you bought.

agboss said...

Of the authors pictured, I have only read books by Kristy Cambron and Colleen Coble, though I have books by several of the other authors (Shadowed by Grace is one of them, Cara!) but haven't read them yet. Both books that I read by Kristy and Colleen were very good, but I really enjoyed Kristy Cambron's, The Butterfly and the Violin.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

It sounds like a great time for you, Cara! I love how you were able to share about your books so quickly yet completely. :) I'm still working on that little feat.

For some reason, I couldn't see the pictures. :( I'm guessing it's my computer. Sigh.

I so appreciate your knowledge and how you share it!

Cara Putman said...

Agboss, I loved Kristy's book, too. Hope you enjoy Shadowed by Grace when you have time to read it. Jeanne, I'm so sorry the photos didn't show up for you! I'm still working on explaining my books quickly. It's tricky with such diverse styles.