The bookseller tip for this blog comes from Kathryn Corbett of Lighthouse Books. Blog by Kate Hilton.
A successful AFI day starts with advance planning. Once you’ve invited your authors, you’ll want to start letting your customers know that something exciting is happening at your store on April 29th.
Remember to use multiple channels to get the word out – local papers, your website, Twitter, Facebook, a sign on the street, posters in your store, posters in the local library or coffee shop, and a note to your mailing list. Often, people need to hear about an event several times before they are ready to make the effort to attend. So take advantage of every promotional opportunity available to you.
Here’s Kathryn Corbett from Lighthouse Books in Brighton, Ontario:
“We had a great time at AFI last year. Here’s some of what we did to build enthusiasm: We used our Facebook page to play up the event for weeks ahead of time, letting our customers know that a special day was coming, that there would be authors AND coffee and cookies and prize draws. As the day got closer, we posted a feature piece with a photo for each one of our visiting authors every day and linked to their websites.
I made up a display board for the store, which was up well ahead of time with each of our 6 authors’ photos and a list of their books. We reserved a shelf at the front of the store especially for their books. We contacted our local paper and they did an article for us. And we sent a mass email invitation to our 400+ member list. None of this was rocket science, but our enthusiasm as the event approached seemed to rub off on our customers.”
Check out our AFI Planning Guide for Bookstores and the list of Celebration Ideas. If your bookstore didn't host authors last year but you'd like to give it a try, just register on the website to be listed as a participating bookstore.
Thank you to: