Several years ago, just in time for my release called Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (now released as Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva), a love story set in 1933, a new book festival called Beachside Authorfest located next to the beach in Lake Geneva began. What better way to promote my story than right there in the middle of its setting? A slam dunk for lots of sales. Right? Well, I did sell quite a few books, but a lot of people hardly gave the book a glance. The next year, I returned to the festival ready to step up my game and sold a lot more books in the process.
Being situated next to a walkway that leads to the beach, many of the of the passersby are intent on getting to the water. I write clean romances and women’s fiction, and I know my target audience is not teenage boys or most men. I learned it’s better to stand in front of my table and not sit or stand behind it. That way I can make eye contact with the women in the crowd as I hold my newest Lake Geneva book. I greet them and ask if they would enjoy an historical story set in Lake Geneva. If they pause and say yes, I quickly explain I’m the author of the book (which often surprises people) and that I grew up in Lake Geneva. That fact gives me credibility before I go on to describe what the book is about and how I spent hours in the library behind us, researching life in historical Lake Geneva. More times than not, a knowing expression crosses their face, and I know I’m about to make a sale. If they say they want to browse the other books and will come back later, I make sure to hand them a bookmark and point out the link to my Amazon author page printed on the back, adding they can order the book on Kindle if they prefer to read that way.
Of course, being at an event where my stories are set and being from the area helps, but I have used this method with good success at other book events where people are not familiar with the setting.
This coming July 14, I will again be at the Lake Geneva Authorfest under my blue canopy. This year, the book I’ll be holding as I make my pitch is Safe Refuge, the first in my three-book series about how the movers and shakers of 1871 Chicago quickly made Lake Geneva their home away from home after the Great Chicago Fire had destroyed their homes and businesses. They came to the pristine waters of Geneva Lake and built beautiful mansions on the lakeshore for their families to live in while the city was rebuilt.
Giveaway! If you want to read Safe Refuge, Pam is giving away a copy in either the Kindle version or trade paperback.
Leave a comment and describe your favorite beach read for this summer. I’ll put your name in the proverbial hat for a drawing that will take place June 6, 2018.
Blurb: In two days, wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, will wed a man she loathes. She would refuse this arranged marriage to Lyman Millard, but the Bible clearly says she is to honor her parents, and Anna would do most anything to please her father–even leaving her teaching job at a mission school and marrying a man she doesn’t love. The Great Chicago Fire erupts, and Anna and her family escape with only the clothes on their backs and the wedding postponed. Father moves the family to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where Anna reconnects with Rory Quinn, a handsome immigrant who worked at the mission school. Realizing she is in love with Rory, Anna prepares to break the marriage arrangement with Lyman until she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever.
Pam has written most of her life, beginning with her first diary at age eight. Most of her novels are set in or near her hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. They include Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and her newest release, Safe Refuge, the first of three novels in her Newport of the West series. Her novel, Second Chance Love, released last year, and her novella, If These Walls Could Talk, was published in the Coming Home collection. Future novels include Whatever is True (March 2019) and Shelter Cove and Tranquility Point, both part of her current series.
Pam resides in northern Illinois with her two rescue cats. She’s an hour or so away from her home town where she can often be found researching and nosing for new story ideas.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2kqP5CC
I’ll throw my hat in the drawing. 🙂 Good advice, Pam. I set up at local craft vendor sales, and I’m always experimenting at best ways to pitch my wares (books). I’m never sure about sitting behind or standing in front, but your approach sounds great. I’ll be practicing this year!
I’m afraid I always have to sit behind, where MSB has the air conditioner pointed at me. He knows what happens when I get too hot!
Great tips for getting the most out of festivals! How fun to author a book set in your home town! 🙂
Hi everyone. Absolutely, it does help to stand in front of the table. I think it makes the author more approachable, but sometimes it isn’t feasible. I’ve been involved with events where I had no choice but to stay behind the table.
Yes, it’s an awesome experience to set my stories in my hometown. I was just there today at the library doing more research for the next book in my new series.