Join ACFW |  Forgot Password |  Login: 

October 2012

Reporter: Tiffany Amber Stockton

Tiffany StocktonStockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an author, speaker, and virtual assistant who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have one daughter, one son, and two Australian shepherds, Roxie and Bronco. She has sold 13 books, with more on the horizon. Visit her online.

Presenter: Suzanne Kuhn

Suzanne KuhnRecognizing her niche after working in all areas of book retailing and event sales, Kuhn launched SuzyQ, a full-service author promotion firm to help coordinate any type of live event and train authors to engage and connect with readers.

Presenter: Rusty Shelton

Rusty SheltonShelton first spoke at Harvard on the changing world of public relations at the age of 23. Now he is the CEO of Shelton Interactive, the lead digital agency for Chicken Soup for the Soul and Harvard Health Publications. He spoke at SXSW Interactive this year and sits on the University of Texas Texas Exes PR Committee.

Workshop 11: Successful Author Events

When you team up an expert in the retail events arena with an authority on social media, the result can’t be anything but powerful. Such was the case with the two-hour ACFW conference workshop , Successful Author Events, which taught authors how to have a successful event from a dual point-of-view. During the workshop Suzanne Kuhn, also known as SuzyQ, discussed in-person events, and Rusty Shelton presented tips on virtual author events.

Red carpet eventSuzy discussed ways to maximize interaction, advising that you give each person their “5 minutes of fame.”

  • Take a picture with each one, and make certain YOU are in the picture.
  • Share your plans to post the pictures on Facebook and ask them to tag themselves and post a comment or two.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Take pictures of any staff involved in your event.
  • When posting to social media sites, tag the venue, yourself, your page, and if possible, the individuals in the pictures. Be sure to have the consent of the individual before posting pictures publically.
  • Always use a finepoint Sharpie, as ballpoint pen signatures fades. Have at least one extra on hand.

Outside of the event, Suzy had other great tips to increase the overall success of the event by doing some legwork beforehand.

  • Make social media a part of your daily activities. Spend 10-15 minutes each day, 5 days a week.
  • Be consistent, so your followers can know what to expect.
  • Search for the event venue (location) and “like” their page or “follow” them. Begin to interact with them, and show them you appreciate all they’re doing to promote literature and connect readers with books.

Even if your only attendees are chirping crickets and the staff, consider the event an opportunity to minister, and bless the staff. These tips will help keep your books in stock and increase the likelihood of having your books hand-sold by the staff.

Social media imageWhen holding a virtual event, Rusty Shelton offered several tips.

For Twitter

  • Set a hash-tag for your event that everyone can follow, and communicate it in all promotions/publicity beforehand.
  • Encourage retweets to help spread the word.
  • Be concise in your answers. Remember, you only have 140 characters. Don’t let them go to waste.

For Facebook

  • Provide clear instructions on where the activity is taking place.
  • Create an event and send out invites.
  • Keep it public and allow invitees to invite their friends. Let them spread the word for you.

For any virtual event

  • Encourage participation with questions and comments.
  • Remind attendees to refresh their page to stay current.
  • Offer giveaways at regular intervals.
  • Enlist the help of a friend or two to keep track of giveaway winners.
  • Recap the event afterward on all social media outlets, thanking everyone for coming.

Red carpet image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/

Social media image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN/

back to ezine