An Event Grid is basically just a list of authors of upcoming titles that publishers are planning on sending out on tour. Event Grids are posted well in advance of publication date, often even before those titles are even listed in publishers’ catalogs, due to the complicated logistics of planning such a tour. The grids are your opportunity to essentially give a sales pitch in the pursuit of hosting an event on one of these tours.
Note: Access to Event Grids is fully controlled by each publisher. Edelweiss is open to the public, but the grids are not, and so publishers grant access to individual users based on their email address. To gain access, ask your sales rep (if you have one) or email the publisher directly (contact information for a publisher is generally found on the Contact Us pages of their websites or you can check The Literary Marketplace either online, if you have a subscription, or in print. A list of publishers who currently post their event grids in Edelweiss can be found here.
In a grid, you’ll see a list of titles (with all the available information you’re used to seeing in Edelweiss) with a little bit of Tour Information. You’ll have an area designated for your request. Each grid will have an expiration date, after which the grids will be closed. You’ll write your request for the authors you’d like to host and submit the grids. Afterwards, your sales reps have an opportunity to advocate on your behalf by writing notes on your pitch. Then the grids go to the publicists who make the tour decisions. To be blunt, not all of the publishers are great about telling you if you were not selected for the tour, unfortunately, but you will certainly hear back if your pitch was accepted.
Understanding Event Grids
The Event Grids look a lot like the catalogs, or any other title list in Edelweiss+. You can find full documentation about navigating a catalog here, including expanding content, filters and sorts, etc.
There are a few notable differences between the Grid list and a catalog page:
1- Grid Stats: Number of Titles on this grid, number of Requests you’ve made, the Submit button, and an Archive button.
2-Make Request: The area in which you can add the specifics of your request. Details about making a request can be found here.
3-Tour Information: Information provided by the publisher. Different publishers provide different information, but they generally tend to add the name of the author touring, planned tour locations, etc.
Be sure to take note of any Comparable Titles here, too. Your performance with an author’s previous titles is pretty crucial information when making your request, or when deciding if you should make a request.
While event grids tend to be posted quite early on in the sales/publication process, you will likely still see some Buzz activity on titles. In fact, you can sort the list according to shelf or review activity to see those titles that are already garnering some pre-publication attention.
Tags, Notes, etc. work in the grids like elsewhere on the site, so you can easily add notes and alerts to your coworkers, or to your future self. You can even filter this list by titles with Tags and Notes, or even by Event Requests.
Making an Event Grid Request
Within an Event Grid, you’ll see the upcoming title for which an author will be touring listed in a catalog-type view. In each listing, you’ll see a “Make Request” field:
Click in to that field to see your Request tools.
Here’s a rundown of each field, along with points to consider for each.
General Event Profile
Your General Event Profile is a field that you only need to fill in once. So, once you type in the relevant information here, and click the save icon, this field will contain that information for every request. You want to be clear and concise as publicists are very busy and will want to read through quickly. Here are some guidelines for the sort of information you should be adding here:
Briefly position your library/community: Where are you located, do you have any strong markets?
Describe where you host events both in-and-out of the library, including the number of people you can host and/or size of the space.
What kinds of events can you do? Can you do Skype events, do you have a flat panel screen for power point presentation, or a kitchen for cookbook events? How about daytime events?
List any outside partnerships or strong relationships that you have with other organizations which could positively impact events.
How you promote events to your community: Social media, newsletters, advertising, podcasts, radio shows… Do you work with local media in any way? Local media is something that publicists focus on!
List a few successful events: Maybe something really original and one or two large events and how many people attended.
You’re essentially using this field to explain to a publicist why your library is a great venue for events. If you need to update or edit your event profile, simply open a request field, make your edits, and click the save icon again. Your General Event Profile will be updated. If you partner with a local entity for book sales, this is a good place to mention that!
It’s recommended to save your General Event Profile in a document somewhere on your computer, just in case something goes awry and you accidentally delete it.
Request for the Title____:
The Request field is where you lay out your plans for this specific author visit. Will it be held in your library? How much seating is available? Will you partner with a school? In a classroom, or an auditorium? Will you partner with a local community organization, and if so, how many members does that organization have to participate in this event? Will the event be ticketed?
So, be specific and clear. Think through what your library is honestly capable of, take into consideration past sales, etc. for this author, if relevant. The performance of similar past events can be quite relevant.
Rules of thumb here:
Publishers want to hear about your passion for the book or author as well as what kind of event you will host and who you think will come to the event.
- “We loved her book X and patron demand has been strong. We can’t keep it on the shelf! It was a book club pick for 3 different clubs.”
- “Our science fiction patrons would come out in force for this amazing author and the local bookstore sold 100 copies at an event for this another science fiction author.”
Give an example of another successful event that you’ve done that is similar to this one and be specific.
- “We hosted Jane at this off-site event location and had 300 attendees with 200 books sold.”
- “We had this first time author on a panel of mystery writers with a turnout of 40 and sales of 15.”
How will you publicize this event? Do you have connections to local media that might be relevant? Is there any connection to the author or book that the publisher should know about? (Does their brother live in your town, did the author go to college nearby…anything that might help draw people in.)
Estimate the number of attendees and, if you are partnering with a local bookstore, how many books that you think might be sold
Be careful not to ‘over-sell and not deliver.’ This will likely not be the only event you request from this publisher. Promising an auditorium full of people with 1000 attendees, and then delivering a small event with 5 people attending will likely ensure that you will not be on the author tour in the future. Be honest. Publishers are not opposed to smaller events, as they know how such things work but they should be aware of this in advance.
Expected Attendance and Expected Sales
Publishers are simply looking for numbers here. 20 in attendance, 10 copies sold or 3000 in attendance with 2000 copies sold… whatever you think is a realistic estimate.
Once you are finished filling in the request, click the Save icon.
Your Request will then show on that title’s grid listing:
The next step is to continue through the grid and request the appearance of authors you would like to see at your store. Once finished, you’ll want to Submit your requests. Details about that can be found here.
We’ve mentioned “sales” a number of times here. Keep in mind that selling books is a publisher’s purpose and is generally the goal of an author tour. Partnerships with local entities can be helpful there.
Submitting Event Grid Requests
With Event Grids, you don’t submit requests for individual titles, but you submit the entire grid (which includes your requests) before the due date. So you work through the grids, requesting authors that make sense for your library, and then submit the whole grid once you’re finished. You do not submit grids in which you did not make any requests.
Make your Requests for all relevant titles. Details about making those requests can be found here.
When ready (and before the grid’s due date!) hit the Submit button, which can be found in a few places.
On the Event Grids page, where each grid listing will have a Submit button:
and within the grid itself:
Once you click the Submit button, your grid will be sent to the publisher. On your Event Grids page, this grid will be listed in the Open, Submitted folder until you choose to Archive it.
If you, at this point, realize that you did not mean to submit the grid, or that you need to edit it for whatever reason, you can as long as it is before the due date. Just click on Unsubmit. You will find the Unsubmit button for submitted grids in the same places where you found the Submit buttons.
This will remove your grid/requests from the publishers’ view and put the grid back in your Open, Unsubmitted folder. Once you’ve completed your edits, be sure to Submit the grid again!
Once you’ve submitted a request, you can easily see that you’ve made an event request anytime you, or anyone at your organization, views that title anywhere on the site. You can also filter a catalog or any list of titles according to this information:
After you’ve made your requests, the publishers go through their process of determining which venues make the most sense for their author. If your request was approved, and your library has been selected for an author’s tour, you’ll hear from the publisher so you can both begin the planning process.
Unfortunately, if your request was not approved, many publishers will not let you know. Your best bet is to contact your sales rep or the publisher directly for an update.
Once you’re all finished with a grid, you can Archive it, which helps to keep your ‘work space’ nice and clear for the next round of grids.