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Preparation to Appear at a  GLAWS Event 
(or Ten Easy Steps to Benefit from this Public Appearance)

Why You Are Participating in this Event

Fame, glory, your name in, not really. Don't participate in any event only because of how many books you might sell. Participate to increase your visibility and platform as an author.

Yes, you may sell books, or maybe not. More likely, you will pass out a lot of flyers and thousands of bookmarks, meet potential fans, and a few flakes. And you might be surprised how many follow-up hits you get on your web site for orders, media interviews, invitations for other appearances. You may even have an agent or publisher walk up to the booth and take an interest in your work -- hey, it could happen.

GLAWS at the Los Angeles Times Festival of BooksMostly your appearance is about visibility and platform. The more you meet and greet your existing and potential public, the more likely they are to remember you when making their next book purchase. Even Dean Koontz made an appearance at Book Expo America and met with fans and autographed books, and he's sold over 300 million books worldwide. It's an important part of every author's platform.

Occasionally, you'll meet someone who has already read something you've written and had to meet you in person and tell you how much they enjoyed / hated / were moved / upset / loved whatever you wrote. Knowing that your writing has moved someone on an emotional or personal level is very rewarding.

Now that you know why you're doing this ...Congratulations.

You have taken the first big Step One in broadening and strengthening your platform as a writer by committing to appear at a public event. Now it is time to prepare for it. (Even if you've done this before, it doesn't hurt to review the following steps in order to get the most out of your commitment. You may want to update your photo or bio, as well.)

And there's a few business items you must complete. While the society does it's best to make every event is simple and fun for member/authors, there are important details to ensure that everything is done professionally, legally, and each participant understands their obligations and responsibilities.

The following will guide you through this process:

Step Two: Submitting materials for Public Relations and Advertising.

Please E-mail the following to tntodaro (if you have already done so for a previous event, you need NOT do so again, if you are satisfied with your material):

  • A BIO that includes who you are, your writing credentials, previous publications, a dynamic, interesting synopsis of your current work, along with web site and contact information.
  • A high-quality HEAD SHOT PHOTO (JPEG, 300 dpi, of good size and quality) Do NOT send a 72 dpi photo the size of a postage stamp.
  • A high-quality BOOK COVER PHOTO (JPEG, 300 dpi, of good size and quality) Please do NOT send a 72 dpi photo the size of a postage stamp

Step Three: Booth Bookshelf Display --Stays for entire event!

BookshelfThe bookshelf is a display across the back of the booth that stays there for the entire event. Please provide in advance:
  • A clean copy of YOUR BOOK (S) One per title, three titles maximum (like a trilogy)

  • A STAND-UP PROMO CARD no larger than 8.5"x11" to place next to the book on the bookshelf. The card should have your NAME big across the top with your photo below. It should have a “Sell” paragraph on your book in large type. It should have a photo of the book cover. (See sample--your layout may vary)

Sample StandupstandMount the Promo Card on foam-core or poster board and glue a cardboard easel to the back. (you can get one at places like Office Depot, JoAnn's or Michael's).

Put it in a 9x12 envelope for protection, marking it in bold letters with your name and the title of the book.

Deliver the book and stand-up in person, to the booth. You may bring it Friday when we setup in the afternoon, or as early on Saturday as you arrive.

If you want the material back, please try to pick materials up at the end of the event. If you want us to keep it for future events, let us know that, as well. We do NOT mail books back - YOU MUST PICK THEM UP.  (or we may donate to a local library)

What is NOT allowed:

  • No floor stands, tripods, or any fixture that someone could trip over. If it doesn't sit in the allotted space on the bookshelf or on the table, it doesn't belong in the booth.
  • No over-sized signs. Authors love their books and want to see them on billboards, but if we allow one person to have a larger sign, we have to allow them for everyone and there's just no space in the booth for them. Don't ask, don't bring.
  • No over-sized bags or boxes. You should only bring enough for the shift. How many books is that? Well, if they don't fit in the average carry-on suitcase, you've got too many. We do suggest you have extra books in your vehicle that you or an assistant can retrieve. NOTE: A few events, such as WonderCon do not like rolling bags in the convention center. They want you to carry your books, or bags or boxes. It's their rules, not ours.

18X24 signsExceptions:

  • Depending on the booth size at different events, there is always possibility that we may have room for a limited number of wall signs. The size would be determined by the Event Chairs for each event, and the available space divided evenly between the number of authors scheduled for a time slot. Authors would be required to put up and take down their own signs, and have them visible only during their time slot.
  • Specs: Typical size is 18" across x 24" long, fire-proof, grometted for hanging. (samples shown to right »»)

Step Four: Promotional Things to do in advance of the event.
  • Promote your appearance with an E-mail Press Release and through social networking sites, such as Facebook to everyone you know. You should do so 3-4 weeks before an event, then again the week of the event as a “friendly reminder”. Even if they already have the book or are just acquaintances, the more friendly faces that appear at the booth, the greater chance exists that someone will buy your book or perhaps one of your fellow-writers. People like to do business where business is being done.
  • Add the information to your web site. Provide links to the full event at -- What, no web site? Get busy!
  • -If the event has its own promotional material, try to get copies of postcards for direct mail. People do still notice these things. What, no database? Get busy!
  • If you have a publisher, and/or an agent, inform them of your appearance. Ask them to get involved anyway possible. Perhaps they would take out a local print ad, or encourage booksellers in the area to take notice of your appearance and stock extra books. They may also have some promotional suggestions and/or materials for you.
  • Be sure you have ample handouts for distribution, which may include a promotional bookmark with information, links, and “how to order” your book. You may also (optionally) want to have a small promo sheet to hand out (only if you feel it important) and/or a business card with your contact information.

Step FIve: Obtain a State Sellers Permit. If you are selling books or anything tangible at an event, you must have this State of California permit. GLAWS must have a copy of the permit for our records and to provide to the Promoter before the event. You should bring a second copy with you in case the promoter or someone from the BOE stops by the booth. No exceptions, even if you've appeared previously at this or other events.

Step Six: Sign and submit the Release of Liability. The Event Promoter and GLAWS require you to read, sign and submit a copy of this form which holds us harmless from all liability. No exceptions, even if you've appeared previously at this or other events, you need to sign a current release.

GLAWS keeps a copy of both items in the booth during the event.

Step 7-8-9: We thought we'd lighten things up by treating the next section, where you actually attend and prosper at the event, as Frequently Asked Questions »».

Step 10: You're not done yet. Now it's time to follow up with everyone you've met, update your web site, send out emails praising your attendance and aspects of the event, and start thinking about what you can do to be more effective at the next one.

After all, you're already working on that next great American novel ...right? With that in mind, continued success with all your writing!


IBM Typewriter

State BOE Permit
Liability Release

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