Frequently Asked Question: How Do You Prepare for an Author Appearance?


This weekend, I’m doing final prep for my appearance at Clockwork Alchemy.  So, I thought I’d give you all a little insight into what that involves.

First, I’ve made sure I have inventory for all of my paperbacks.  I’ve done some new covers, but I still have a little back stock of the old ones … which means I’ve also come up with a different pricing strategy this year.  There’ll be a discount on the old covers while supplies last.  That way, there’s an opportunity for people who want the same content at a bargain.  I also have business cards with a QR code that will take people to my website, where they will find information about my eBook-only work.

Second, I’ve planned my table decor.  Having an inviting and nicely decorated sales space makes a huge difference; people want to check out your work if you and your merchandise look interesting.  Because Bayou Fire takes place in New Orleans, I’ll have Mardi Gras beads, alligators, and even a plush crawfish in the mix!

Speaking of beads brings me back to the concept of lagniappe:  I will have both the beads and badge ribbons as little give-aways, even for those who don’t buy a book.  I needed to make sure that both arrived in plenty of time for the show … and they’re here!

Third, I need to know my schedule.  I am only participating in one panel this year (“Verisimilitude in Fiction”), but there is another I really want to see (“The Girl Reporters”).  That means I need to make sure that my table is covered.

Fourth, the actual logistics of selling require that I have change on-hand and my Square device charged up so that I can take credit cards.  I also need to make sure that my brochures are folded and ready to go; I decided to do a brochure that I can change readily rather than spending money on rack cards that are obsolete the minute I change a cover!  My BoE seller’s permit, along with the secondary permit for the convention location, is in a frame so that the documents can be prominently displayed.  I already have my customer bags decorated, and gifts with purchase above a certain dollar amount lined up.  I still need to print out my price list, and my sign-up sheet for the e-mail list.

If this sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is!  What looks effortless once you’re at the show requires a lot of back-end work.  I look forward to seeing everyone at the convention, and having you see the final product!

I promise to take photos of my table/booth and share them here for those who live far away or cannot make it to the event for any other reason.  Thanks, as always, for reading and for being such great fans/friends.


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