It happened again this week. And, unfortunately, it happens ALL the time. Conference organizers/coordinators and their employees (and even bookstores!) drop the ball. After hiring you (or charging you!) to appear at their event, and after promising to order dozens or even hundreds of your books for their attendees, they fail to do so. The author, after making plans to attend, to present, or just to sell, and perhaps even after buying a plane ticket, and reserving a rental car and hotel room, is stuck at a table (or in front of a podium) with no books for their eager, book-buying audience.
Without a written contract guaranteeing those books would be purchased, and available for the attendees, the author basically has no recourse.
On Monday, at BookLocker, we were contacted by a large event organizer. She needed copies of an author’s book by a week from Thursday. No problem, we said. But, we told her she’d need to order the rush printing service (which is available for an additional fee from our printer). We also told her she’d probably want to also order expedited shipping. While we could get the books printed and out the door in 2-3 business days, using UPS ground would be a gamble since that can take an additional 4-7 days. I recommended UPS 2nd Day Air or Next Day Air, and provided her with a quote. Yes, it’s expensive but, to be completely honest, why the heck did this woman wait until after the last minute to order books?
I was communicating with our author the entire time and I learned she is the KEYNOTE SPEAKER for a gathering of 500 people! Needless to say, she was extremely disappointed.
After receiving my quote, which included our standard wholesale discount for the quantity to be purchased, as well as additional fees for rush service, and three shipping options, the event organizer said she was going to contact Ingram (the book distributor) for a “better deal.”
I then had to let her know that we offer a deeper discount than Ingram when books are purchased wholesale from BookLocker directly. And, we can get the books to her faster than Ingram can. She never responded.
Of course, the author was getting even more agitated as the hours passed.
Since the author couldn’t force the event organizer to order copies, and since the author likely couldn’t afford to front the money for that many books, I sent her this advice:
<i>If I were you, I’d take any copies you do have on hand, and also print up some fliers or postcards with the book cover, description, as well as verbiage worded something like this:
[Book Title] can be ordered from the publisher, BookLocker.com or from your favorite online or neighborhood bookstore.
While the author would sell more copies if the book was actually there, at least she can still give those attendees a purchasing option. They can either get online with their smart phone, laptop, or ebook reading device, and buy the ebook for instant download, or buy the print book for fast delivery by mail or UPS. Her book (as well as all other BookLocker.com books) is, of course, also available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, BooksAMillion.com, Chapters.ca, Powells.com, as well as many other stores across the globe. And, of course, anybody can ask their local bookstore to order one.
So, if you are hired for an event, you should check in with the organizer, and with your publisher, about six weeks beforehand to see if the large book purchase has been made. If it looks like the organizer might drop the ball, you can either order copies yourself to sell directly to attendees, or you can have fliers and/or postcards printed up showing attendees where to purchase your book.
See sample postcards HERE.
If you need postcards, fliers, posters, or other marketing materials designed and printed, contact me HERE and I’ll connect you with Todd, who is an awesome, (and very affordable!) designer. He’s fast, too!
Marketing Your Book to Conference Attendees (when you’re not even there!)
How I Accept Credit Cards At Book Signings And Other Events!
Industry Events: A Good Source Of Article Ideas
Spin Coverage Of One Event Into Numerous Articles!
Five Ways to Make (Not Spend!) Money at Conferences
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
ANGELA ON TWITTER
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON TUMBLR
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
- Want to REALLY keep 100% of your royalties?
- Want to REALLY self-publish your book?
- Want direct contracts with the world's largest Print on Demand printer as well as Ingram, the worldís largest book distributor, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and any other ebook retailer you choose?
All at a price LOWER than most POD publishers!