Envision Events to Sell More Books

May 2002
by Evelyn Kaye

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Imagine the scene. You’ve organized an event to promote your book. When you arrive, people are already lining up to get in and the place is packed. So many people can’t get in that you have to schedule a second presentation for later that week. And you run out of books to sell.

It’s happened to me, and it can happen to you next time you start promoting your book with a well-planned event. I’ve been organizing book events for years without realizing that’s what I did–from a Banned Books Read-Out on the steps of the New York Public Library, to a travel workshop on free vacations, to a performance with a storyteller and music that toured for a year. Events draw attention to the book without being boring. A good event will attract book-lovers and readers, bring media attention, and sell copies.

Forget the opening of a Hollywood movie in a thousand-seat theater with film stars and shiny limousines; for those, hire a professional company and get out your checkbook. I’m talking about book events that you can put it together yourself, where the timing, the promotion, the topic, and the program all combine to give the occasion a buzz. I like to keep costs to a minimum, usually under $300, and involve volunteer helpers.

An event–defined in the dictionary as “a happening or occurrence, especially when important”–needs four essential steps for success.


1. Analyze

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