In my previous post on working with bookstores, I shared some tips for how to work with a bookstore that can make an event successful. Since the I’ve been thinking of some other ways to help this process along. Both the author and the bookstore want the event to be successful, but in order for that to occur, there needs to be specific communication that occurs, as well as proper strategizing and implementation of marketing to make sure the event is successful. These additional tips can help you and the bookstore put together a mutually successful event.
1. Create a written contract that spells out the responsibilities of the bookstore and author. Both the bookstore and author and have certain responsibilities that need to be spelled out. Each plays a role in making the event successful, but if neither party is clear on what the expectations are, then mis-communication can occur and the event may not be as successful as a result. It’s crucial that the author develops a contract that explains what s/he will do and also details the expectations s/he has of the store. Both the author and bookstore need to sign off on the contract before anything else occurs, so that way each party knows what is expected of them. Bookstore Author Agreement.
2. Marketing calls need to occur regularly to make the event successful. Ideally you and the bookstore owners are talking once a month, up to three months in advance, strategizing over what needs to be done and checking in with each other about pre-registrations and other relevant details. The final month, you actually have a chat on the phone two weeks and one week before the event. These conversations don’t have to be long, but they do need to happen in order for everyone to be on the same page, and to make sure that if anything needs to change, it can be changed while there is still time. This also helps you and the store owners make sure that they have what they need in terms of books, flyers, etc well ahead of the actual event.
3. Double check the dates of your event to make sure you aren’t competing against other events. The bookstore owners should either know if there will be a conflict with the date OR they should know someone they can point you to who can tell you if your event might compete against another event. While it’s inevitably true that not everyone will come to your event, you increase your chances of getting people into the event when your date is scheduled if you aren’t competing against other events that locals might feel obligated to go to.
These additional tips can make a difference for your event and help both you and the book store be successful.