Sarah Duncan has been giving advice on delivering author events on her blog in the last few days, and I’ve found the posts very interesting having worked in literature promotion.
It also made me think back to some of the events I’ve attended. One runaway success, in terms of sales, relied very much on getting the audience thoroughly drunk. I realise that wouldn’t normally be economically viable, but on the evening in question, Oz Clarke was promoting a £40 wine atlas, so it was a special case.
And oh boy, did it work. We were given eight different wines to try, and there was none of your spitting it out after you’d taken a sip. It was an early-evening event and I hadn’t thought to have supper before I ventured out. By the time I’d finished sample eight, I was utterly convinced that the wine atlas was essential to my continued enjoyment of life. In fact, I wanted to buy two copies, because I thought my parents probably couldn’t carry on without one either. My husband had to physically drag me out of Waterstones. (He pointed out how much wine we could buy with £80).
Although I was thus prevented from making a purchase, I’m quite sure I was in the minority. The room was thronging with smiling, hiccoughing people, scrabbling for their wallets (and Waterstones staff, no doubt wondering when they would ever be allowed to go home.)
However, for more real-world solutions, Sarah Duncan’s blog is definitely the place to go…