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 into 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, you type in the relevant information here, and after you click the save icon, this field will contain that information for every request. This is where you provide an introduction to your library for someone who has quite possibly never heard of you, or at least it’s best to make that assumption. As a general rule of thumb, you want to be clear and concise. 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 powerpoint 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.
You’re essentially using this field to explain to a publicist why your library is a great venue for events. Again, this is a field that you fill once, and it sticks for all requests. If you need to update or edit, simply open a request field, makes 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 sold 200 copies in paper and it was a book club pick for 3 different clubs.”
- “Our science fiction patrons would come out in force for this amazing author and we’ve sold 100 copies at an event for this other 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 we 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 books that you think you might sell.
*If you have multiple stores in multiple cities or have a home office in a separate place, make sure to make your request for the city where the event will be held.*
And keep in mind, too, the dangers of ‘over-selling and under-delivering.’ This will likely not be the only event you request from this publisher. Promising an auditorium full of people with 1000 copies sold, and then delivering a small event with 5 people attending and 1 copy sold will leave a bad taste in the publisher’s mouth. Be honest. Publishers are not opposed to smaller events, as they know how such things work. This is where maintaining a strong relationship with a publisher can pay off nicely for all involved.
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.
When you’re finished, please simply be sure to click that Save icon…unless you want to practice your requests by doing them twice!
Your Request will show on that title’s grid listing like so:
The next step is to continue through the grid and request the appearance of the 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 favorite hobby and is generally the goal of an author tour. Partnerships with local entities can be helpful there.