This past weekend I attended ReadCon 2014, a book-inspired event in the Northern Colorado town of Greeley. I, along with many other local authors, participated in the book signing/beer sampling program toward the end of the day. Initially, I didn't know what to expect. Perhaps only a few folks would meander into the event space during the two hours. Or the other hand, the place could be packed from start to finish.
Luckily, the latter happened. The area filled up even before the official start time. Perspective buyers walked along the aisles, examined the authors' publications, picked up their freebies, and asked them plenty of questions. Numerous folks stopped by my table to inquire about Wooden Pants Publishing, Coffee Cup Tales and Paradise Not Quite Lost. A few of them even knew about me from workshops held earlier in the day or from the ReadCon website.
Like many other industries out there, the book world thrives on meeting up with authors and book sellers. Yes, it's easier to do this in the 21st century thanks to social media and self-publishing sites, but there's still nothing better than a face-to-face discussion with others. First, they get to tell you how dashingly handsome or gorgeously beautiful you are. Second, they hear what you and your books are about instead of reading it in an Amazon synopsis.
This type of connection is a powerful tool. It may not show up in immediate sales figures or reviews. Yet, there will come a time where you see a spike in book purchases or an increase in speaking engagements. Those events will lead to other connections. Soon enough, you'll be reaching plateaus you never thought you'd make.
Many authors rely exclusively on social media to market their material, and this is just fine. However, just one event outside of the home office can help make connections that could change your writing life for the better. Think about it the next time a local author event is announced. I doubt you'll be sorry.
Have you made any significant connections at writing events?
Self-promotion alert: Just in time for the Halloween season, you can purchase a copy of my eBook Dining with Zombies at Amazon. It's $3.49 for stories on zombies at Denny's, formal dining experiences, and zombie romance.