Author tables, worth it?

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JLZenor
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Author tables, worth it?

Postby JLZenor » Wed May 06, 2015 12:25 pm

At what point during a young author's career (young as in just starting in this career, not age ;) ) is it a good idea to start trying to get author tables at conventions?

Is there ever a bad time, because even if you don't have much, or anything, to sell you're still getting yourself out there. Then again who wants to talk to an author who doesn't have any books?

Thoughts?
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TheBookMaester
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Re: Author tables, worth it?

Postby TheBookMaester » Wed May 06, 2015 9:52 pm

Hmmm. I think that if you had something to give away for free to get people to remember you and come back when you do have something, it might be worth getting a table. You kind of make a good point - what incentive do they have to come and talk to you if you have nothing to offer? People love free stuff, though!

If you are an author, part of your business is selling yourself and your work. A podcast I've been listening to recently that is geared toward helping people build a business (www.chalenejohnson.com/podcast - Build Your Tribe) strongly, strongly, strongly recommends starting a mailing list right away, even if you don't have anything to sell yet, and to attract people to it, have some sort of really cool "freemium" - something that is worth paying for but they can get for free if they sign up to your mailing list. It lets them see how awesome you are, kind of a "free trial offer," and has the potential to make them a loyal follower. In your case, it might be one of your short stories. Maybe you give them a free ebook when they sign up for your mailing list, but then when you come out with more books and stories you already have a following you can directly contact to inform about the new book.

Bringing that back to the author table, if you don't have anything to sell or give away of your own yet, maybe you can bring a copy or two of another few authors' works that you really like, and do free giveaway(s) if people put in their business card or whatever in your box. Some sort of drawing. Or, instead of a business card, create your own opt-in form and have them fill in their name, phone number, and email address, and have an area to opt in to your mailing list.

Is it legal to use other authors' works for this purpose? You aren't selling them.

????
~The Book Maester~
JLZenor
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Re: Author tables, worth it?

Postby JLZenor » Wed May 06, 2015 11:57 pm

That is an interesting point.

After I get my work up on smash words I know I can give away codes that people can use to download the works for free. Another author had that at her table a few conventions ago.

The book wasn't for me, though. Not into the whole flesh eating aliens, thing.
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TheBookMaester
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Re: Author tables, worth it?

Postby TheBookMaester » Wed May 13, 2015 8:02 pm

At least the author let you have a free sample before you bought the book and found out it wasn't for you :-P

Did you get that code from smashwords? Or does that take a while to get?
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JLZenor
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Re: Author tables, worth it?

Postby JLZenor » Tue May 19, 2015 12:04 pm

It was the entire book, actually. :D

She generated the code and had it printed out on business cards that she passed out at her table.
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TheBookMaester
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Re: Author tables, worth it?

Postby TheBookMaester » Sat May 30, 2015 9:42 pm

Ohh that's a really idea.
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JLZenor
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Re: Author tables, worth it?

Postby JLZenor » Sat May 30, 2015 11:08 pm

TheBookMaester wrote:Ohh that's a really idea.


A really idea? :lol:
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TheBookMaester
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Re: Author tables, worth it?

Postby TheBookMaester » Sat May 30, 2015 11:12 pm

Yep. Haven't you heard the new slang? :P
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