Back From Tucson Festival of Books

I realize that not all of you are one bit interested in what Patricia Fry does, where she goes, when she’s out of town, what she’s working on now. One reason why I report these things is for demonstration purposes.

I teach, preach and nag authors on the types of promotion you all should be doing, how to find and recognize the right publisher and so forth. And when I share my experiences and observations with you, it is generally to show you how I (and others) do it and encourage you to try something similar.

I attended the Tucson Festival of Books as a panelist on four panels along with agents, publisher representatives and others. I spoke to a total of around 200 people—one session had about 120 in attendance. The topics were publishing, book marketing, building a platform and writing a book proposal. There were also many, many authors there speaking and signing books on a variety of topics. Some of them were celebrity authors. There were award-winning and best-selling authors and others who had created pretty good platforms for themselves as well as agents, publishers, marketing gurus, etc. I was told that the event committee had to secure rooms for 400 panelists and speakers. This means that most of the authors were from out of town. I spoke with one from Florida and several from California.

Why would authors and others travel hundreds of miles to talk about their books? If you have to ask that question, I haven’t been getting through to you, have I?

It’s called exposure! The authors hoped to sell books and/or make an impression that would eventually result in book sales. Some speakers were promoting their agencies, companies and programs. We were there, certainly, to help where we could—teach and share. But we also wanted to meet our readers, introduce our books and services and make an impression on our potential readers/clients.

These are the reasons why you should be out doing public speaking and attending events like this. Of course, there were also authors, publishers, organization leaders and so forth with booths at the festival. They, too, were meeting their potential readers, clients and members and selling their books, services and memberships.

You can have a presence on the Internet where your potential readers can find you (that is, if you’re doing the right kind of promotion). And you can also have a presence in public at book festivals, conferences (related to the theme of your book), trade shows (again, related to the theme of your book) and so forth. A third type of presence is through print—articles, interviews and so forth in magazines and newsletters related to the theme or genre of your book. It’s all important. In fact, for anyone who wants to sell books, I think it is absolutely necessary.

Do you have any questions about this concept? Please leave your comment here or contact me here:

Another reason to attend events like the Tucson Festival of Books is that you have the opportunity to learn so much. Over the next few weeks, I will bring you some of the topics that came up in the sessions and some of the things that came to my attention while attending this event.

You can also request that I blog on a topic you’re interested in, need more information about or want resources for.

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