How did you set up your press kit? Did you do it yourself or did you hire somebody?
Good luck on your book signing :!:
I did my own press kit. It changes as I do more things, so now it contains a lot less than it did before, and it has new things that I have only recently been able to add. Now, I have an Author Bio, a Sell Sheet (with both of my books information), Praise for my original book, BROKEN VOWS (three long reviews from different editorial/review groups), a page with the cover shots of both books, an event calendar to show them what I have planned and what I have done, and a cover letter (to explain my intent on sending it).
I have an opportunity right now to be considered as one of the authors who is performing the Vagina Monologues across the country. My publicist has gotten my press kit into the hands of the directors of the show, and they were very impressed. It is still in the works, but my name would be on a billing alongside huge names in my genre like ZANE and Mary B. Morrison. See the details of the show here: http://www.vdayladc.com/5.html
I put my press kit in a nice black folder with a see through cover that you can slip your cover shots into to look customized. I also include a copy of both of my books.
If you would like to see the items in my press kit, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the file.
Here are a couple of tips I need to reiterate if - and WHEN - you get your B&N signing:
1. BE EXTREMELY KIND TO THE CRM. They are your best friend. Be polite and overly courteous. It pays.
2. GET OUT FROM BEHIND THE DAMN TABLE. I outsold the rest of the seven other authors who attended the event because they sat behind their tables and waited for people to magically appear before them. I NEVER sat in my chair. I can sit on my lazy ass when I get home. I am at a SIGNING! This is Barnes and Noble, the mecca of self-published authors everywhere. WHY SIT?! I was pulling people from the Urban section, telling them that my books were hotter (which they are). I didn't cater to my usual audience only (Black females between the ages of 21-45), I stopped white men, white women, spanish women, black men... I didn't care! It is my job to get them over to my table, it is their job to convince ME why they shouldn't buy my book! I have a candy dish and business cards... whatever it takes to draw a crowd.
3. Okay... here is my huge tip. THIS IS A SECRET THAT IS HHUUUGGGGEEE!
The day after your signing at Barnes and Noble... BUY THE CRM FLOWERS AND HAVE THEM DELIVERED TO SAY THANK YOU. Even if I were a man and the CRM were a man, I would send a gift basket. NONE OF THE OTHER AUTHORS DO THIS - they think it unneccessary. But guess what? I stand out from them now, and the CRM asked me to come back on April 21st for my OWN private individual signing and then again on August 25th for their New Author event again - she told me this in the email she sent to THANK ME FOR THE FLOWERS. 'Nuff said.
... another note. The CRM had ordered 50 copies of Broken Vows direct from Ingram prior to the event. It was selling like hotcakes. I only brought 9 copies of my second book, In The Panty Drawer, with me, and everyone was buying them as well. The event had been scheduled and books ordered before my second book was approved for global distribution, so she hadn't been able to order them. When she saw the demand, she went straight downstairs (during the signing on Saturday) and came back up to tell me that she had ordered 50 more copies of that book as well. The few copies of each book that I had left after the signing, she had me sign, and she stuck "Autographed Copy" stickers in the corners of them.
Do not let anyone limit you and tell you that it is impossible to get into a Barnes and Noble store when you are published by Lulu. Don't let them limit you and tell you that these stores will not buy direct from Ingram. PERSISTENCE pays off. I wouldn't take no for an answer. I called, emailed, and mailed my press kit several times within the last year before she called me. And actually, they had fired the old CRM because she didn't organize enough of these events. PERSISTENCE!
Hope you enjoy the new pics:
Because of the excellent sales during my last booksigning at Barnes and Noble, the CRM asked me about starting a new Urban Fiction Book Club/Reading Group in her store. She said that Barnes and Noble tries to have an active reading group in all the popular genre's (poetry, sci fi, romance, etc.) but that no one had stepped up to do the Urban Fiction one yet.
I told her that I would LOVE to. (Any extra exposure for me is AWESOME - more time with avid readers in my own genre - can't ask for better than that!)
Now, they have printed up the following flyer (below) and have left a bunch of them right on the same table with the Urban Fiction books and also the African American Interest section. People have been picking up these flyers like crazy and emailing me to be ni the group. I generated a MySpace page for the group (www.myspace.com/barnesandnoblebookclub) so that I could search out people in my city who had some of my favorite authors listed on their page and invite them to the club.
I have been asking everyone for email addresses and I sent them all Evite's to the event so that they can RSVP and I can get a good count. 15 people have already RSVP'd, and counting!
In other words, my face is on flyers in Barnes and Noble constantly, in the sections that I want to be in, and I will get a chance to feature my own books during a couple of our meetings, and I get to choose books to feature and get monthly exposure to new and avid readers!
Anyone can do this. Go to Barnes and Noble and ask to speak to the CRM. Dress nicely and have a presskit in hand. Tell them about your book, that you are an author, etc. but don't press getting a booksigning or getting your books shelved in their store yet. During this visit, just pose the idea to them about you facilitating the new ______ Reading Group (whatever your genre is). Tell them that you would provide a flyer to print out and place near the books in your genre, tell them that you would run the whole meeting and come up with selections to read and reading discussion questions, etc. CRM's love this, and they will be happy that someone is willing to do this for their store to bring in business with very little help from them (except providing a place to meet!)
It's after your reading group goes a few months and shows some success that you ask to feature your own book. My Barnes and Noble CRM told me that in a couple months when I feature my own book, she will purchase 50 more copies for the book club to buy from the store. DIRECT FROM LULU, not from ME. After that, they will be eager to get you to do a signing in their store, because it will look like you have a big following!
TRY IT! What could it hurt? Worked for me! These are precious gems people!!! And if you do try it, please come back to this post and tell me how things go. I would be more than eager to hear about it! (In fact, if you ever use ANY of the tips I have given, let me know!!!)
It IS possible! Often, our own self-expectations are pitifully low compared to our true capabilities! Believe in yourself and your talent and your craft, and it will happen!
Do you think it is advisable to have at least two books published b/4 doing a signing?
You go girl
Thanks for the congrats. Our other thread is VERY interesting indeed! lol
For those who are curious, we are talking about a thread in WRITERS WORD about writing sex scenes! :wink:
And below this gorgeous sign, posted above my specific genre, were my two books, BROKEN VOWS and IN THE PANTY DRAWER, shelved prominently next to the main stream books. As I have stated many times before... DO NOT LET ANYONE STIFLE YOUR DREAMS. POD books can infiltrate the Barnes and Nobles stores, the Books A Million stores, the Borders stores... Believe and remain vigilant and persistent!
Just because most of your audience are usually children, for example, do not assume that the adult that just walked by doesn't want to hear about your book! Just because most of your customers are men doesn't mean you shouldn't engage the woman that just glanced over at your table. I cringe to think of my past missed opportunities!!
Any who... here are some pics from todays event. ENJOY!