Friday Speak Out!: Presentation, Giveaways and Gimmicks

Friday, June 17, 2022
by Janet Shawgo 

An inviting table presentation can make or break your sales, trust me on this. If it isn’t eye catching or appealing readers will pass you by.

I find it important to keep things neat and tidy, even if you have a lot going on, your books need to remain center stage.

If you have banners place them up on tables so that they will draw immediate attention. Display any awards you have received, I have mine on a canvas making it easy to transport and safe from damage.

Costumes can be a great conversation item whether you wear or display them. I have two that I wear at signings, book club meetings and festivals. You will be surprised at the reactions you receive and it can increase your sales.

Most authors have freebies, pens, candy, and bookmarkers. I have my business cards attached to a small gift bag containing either herbal tea, small nail file or handwipes. These are less than ten cents each, because I buy in bulk. You should make choices depending on your budget.

In my city I attend a festival every year and to increase traffic to the table have included a giveaway. For any book you buy a ticket goes into a box for the prize. In 2021 I gave away a Harry Potter backpack and throw. I discovered a great deal for my budget and it was well received.

This two day festival was an investment of $200.00. I cleared over $1200.00 and sold out of my books in three different genres. I discovered returning to the same festivals faithful readers seek me out for new releases. I made numerous contacts with book clubs and was interviewed for a local magazine because of the costume I wore.

Though these ideas are helpful you need to engage every person even if it’s just to say hello. Unless you are Stephen King, James Patterson or Robert Dugoni, your books will not sell themselves.

I have met readers who said they had too many books at home to read and couldn’t buy another, but after a short conversation they bought two.

It is possible for you to sell ice in the Artic.

* * *
Janet began writing in 2009 while still working as a travel nurse. She retired in 2019 to her home in Galveston Texas.

She has published five full novels, three novellas, and has been published in three anthologies for poetry, flash fiction and short stories.

Janet has multiple awards for her works and was a runner-up in the WOW winter contest for her story The Holiday Slayer.  / Instagram author_janetshawgo / 
Twitter @jkshawgo_author


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Angela Mackintosh said...

These are fantastic tips, Janet! I love your table setup and uniform, and I never thought of displaying costumes. The raffle is a great idea, too. Thanks for being transparent about your numbers--they are great! I bet these events garner a lot of contacts and it's so nice to be able to do in person events again. Your last line made me laugh. :) Congratulations on the publication of all your books!!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post! I love the photo of you dressed up and how neat your table looks! Thanks for the tips! Margo

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Hi Janet,

This post is practically a how-to on bringing people in to your table. There are so many things to consider.

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