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a:Seven Things Stephen King Doesn't Have to Do

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 Oh, to be Stephen King. If I were Stephen instead of Sioux, I’d have dozens of people working to make me happy. They’d be scurrying to ensure I was comfortable at my book signings. A full water bottle at all times. Eyebrows combed to look appropriately intriguing. A chair that wouldn’t make my bony rump ache.

Okay, I don’t aspire to have eyebrows like his, and King’s rear end is probably bonier than mine, but still…

Wait. Wait a minute. Before the chair would be positioned and the water bottle set in place, somebody would set up the book signing tour. A whole lot of somebodys. Since most of us are in the upper nose-bleed section, instead of courtside with Stephen King, we have to set up our own author events. Nobody wants to drive around for months and months with the same boxes of (unsold) books, so what are some creative ideas and smart tips when it comes to book events? Here are a few I’ve stumbled on:

1. Think outside the box. Libraries and bookstores are sometimes overbooked. (Overbooked. Get it?) How about a quirky restaurant on one of their slow nights? I immediately thought of a craft beer spot I love (even though I hate the taste of beer), along with a restaurant that’s run by folks I know really well. It would be a win-win. I’d promote their establishment, perhaps bringing in a few extra customers, and I would be able to chat with their diners.


image by Pixabay

2. Try to bring a bench with you. Sitting on a bench means a friend who wants to pose for pictures with you wouldn’t have to hunch over you. They could sit right next to you. I had not even thought of that. What a simple, no-duh idea.

3. Have a give-away or a contest. One suggestion: Who traveled the farthest distance? I’ve taped tickets under chairs before at teacher events, which is another idea.

4. Host a picnic. Have families bring sack lunches, and everybody gathers in a park. This would work especially well if the writer’s book is a children’s book. As the families munch on their meals, you could have a brief reading and a question and answer session.

5. Don’t sit behind the table. Stand next to the table, to make yourself more accessible. Approach the potential customer, instead of waiting for them to come to you. If your event is in a bookstore, walk around and as you chat with people, hand them a book… Ask them to drop by before they leave. They might just have a credit card or cash in their hand when they come back, ready to buy your book.

6. One blog writer in a post suggested having people sign a book of yours while you autograph their book. This could be their name and a comment about the event, or it could be the makings of a future mailing list. 

7. Have the event as interactive as possible. Giving the audience a chance to participate ensures they’re more engaged. The more people are involved, the more they’re going to root for you and talk you up to other potential readers.

What creative ideas do you have for author events? A soon-to-be-author-of-a-book wants to know...

Sioux Roslawski is a freelance writer on the weekends and a middle-school teacher during the week. In her free time, she also rescues dogs, and has even traveled to Turkey twice on dog rescue missions. In the spring of 2021, her historical middle grades novel, Henry's Story: Greenwood Gone (about the Tulsa Race Massacre), will debut.

If you'd like to read more of Sioux's writing, check out her blog.

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