Blogger: Kathleen Y’Barbo, Publicist
Location: The Woodlands, Texas PR Office
Next week Christian novelists will converge on Denver for the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. While this meeting of the authors will be part-business and part-pleasure for most, there are wonderful reasons to go that are completely publicity-oriented. After all, as I mentioned before in this column, publicity is hugely based on word-of-mouth. So, given that there will be a large contingent of folks who just might want to tell others about you and your book, what can an author (or prospective author) do to make the best conference ever?
1. Don’t be shy! Introduce yourself to others and carry a business card. This is good advice for any occasion, but especially at conferences. Be the first to say hello.
2. Make an extra effort to remember peoples’ names. Say their name aloud as you greet them.
3. Use eye contact and smile when first meeting someone. This goes just as much for a book signing or television event as it does for a conference. Give the person speaking your complete attention and do NOT allow your gaze to roam.
4. Be enthusiastic. People gravitate to positive, cheerful people. They are also more likely to remember you and, by default, your book.
5. Be able to speak on a variety of subjects, not just the usual three: you, your book, and writing. The guy who wrote the book on apologetics is not going to be nearly as memorable as the guy who wrote apologetics and told everyone at the table about this fabulous trip to the Amazon last year.
6. Become a cheerleader for other authors. Taking the focus off you often will cause just the opposite to happen. The Bible says we should be ready to rejoice with others.
7. Be ready with your brief blurb – emphasis on brief – or any publicity materials such as bookmarks or post cards. Don’t push them on people but rather wait until you’re asked. Or perhaps assign a few friends to circulate with some of the items (see point 6).
Perhaps you already do all of these things. Maybe you’re an author who wouldn’t miss a conference but never thought of it as a place where publicity can be accomplished. I’ve barely touched the surface for ideas. Now I’d like to hear your suggestions.
Wow me with your creative ideas!
Oh, and see you at the conference!