Author Events 101: How to Profit from Promotion – by Sharon Woodhouse

Author Events 101: How to Profit from Promotion – by Sharon Woodhouse

What is an author event? Any situation in which you’re using your status as an author to increase visibility for you and your book(s). Whether you have one self-published ebook, a dozen traditionally published books, scholarly and professional titles, or a mishmash of book formats and publishing types, you can do author events, and this article is your primer to developing an income stream from that world.

Know the wide world of author events

Parties – Every book needs a launch party or series of parties, even a belated party if this was accidentally skipped or sabotaged by a pandemic. Host such parties at bookstores, friends’ houses, bars, restaurants, club meetings, museums, libraries, or locations that tie into the book’s theme.

Book signings – At bookstores. At gift shops, museum stores, or other retailers related to your book’s theme, or natural customers. What else can you offer as you sit behind the signing table? Set up a poster board or table tent with info for others and QR codes to your social media handles. Collect emails for your mailing list.

Speaking gigs – Any variation of speaking in front of a group, from a church basement book club, to a senior lunch, to a ballroom of executives.

Classes – Teach something to a group of people. Experiment with topics (related to your book, your expertise, your writing), class sizes, audience types, and classroom settings.

Workshops – Find the hands-on components of what you can teach. What can others learn by doing or being guided by you?

Group coaching – Coach a small group in your area of expertise or some aspect of writing or publishing.

Conventions and trade shows – Sit at vendor or organization booths as a convention attraction.

Understand the ways of making money

Book sales – Individual and volume sales. Advance sales, event sales, post-event sales. Discounted, full-price, or bundled with event fees or services.

Flat fees. This includes appearance fees (when appropriate), speaking fees, and class/workshop/tour fees when a larger entity pays you.

Per-person fees. When you’re paid individually by every person in attendance. I like per-person event/book sale combos, in which an event’s ticket price includes a copy of the book. Negotiate for that as often as possible.

Sponsorships, commissions, and cross-promotions. Take a cut when working with other authors, businesses, and organizations.

Pair income with other author goals

All of us in the creator economy and micro business space know the value of double- and triple-duty strategies and optimizing situations for all their worth. Identify outcomes of authorhood you may not even have considered, and then align your event activities to cultivate these perks while making a living.

Maintain a business mindset

Use these events to build a cottage industry around your book. Treat them as the income source (immediate, deferred, or both) that they are and bring your professional game. Remember:  Work is the price of money. Work the event and the room; serve those in attendance.

Focus on your advantages

Tap into who you are and mine these eight areas for finding and developing the right events for you: Your personal strengths; how others see you; your interests and skills (existing and desired); the needs of your books, readers, and customers; your values and priorities; your short- and long-term goals; your connections and networks; your current schedule and life constraints and your dream life.

Use checklists and continually refine them

Begin a checklist for every type of event you do that includes pre-event (conception, planning, promotion, budget, speech prep, visuals, etc.), event (demeanor, attire, logistics, props and set-up, program details, calls-to-action, mailing list, etc.) and post-event (follow-ups, social media, traditional media, thank yous, post-mortem notes, etc.) items.

Speaking gigs

School programs. Create book-author presentations for schools K through college at the right level for your readers, including an option for advance and/or volume sales with special pricing.

Tours. Turn book-related material into a program you can give by foot, bike, segue, scooter, trolley, bus, boat…

One-hour calls. Use my template for one-hour conversations in which you share your expertise.


Sharon Woodhouse is the owner of Conspire Creative, which offers coaching, consulting, conflict management, project management, book publishing, and editorial services for solo pros, creatives, authors, small businesses, and multipreneurs.

We are always seeking more Marketing Secrets articles, highlighting creative ways to sell books and writings. If you would like to submit a query for this column, please see our guidelines HERE.


Spring 2023 24 Hour Short Story Contest


90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy

Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!


The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession

Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?

Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.

Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer

Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template



So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter - How To Make Money Writing Without a Byline

Many freelance writers find it difficult to break into the publishing world. What they don't know, however, is that there's a faster and easier way to see their words in print. It's called ghostwriting, and it's an extremely lucrative, fun, and challenging career.

But how do you get started as a ghostwriter? How do you find new clients who will pay you to write their material? How do you charge? And what kind of contracts do you need to succeed? All these questions and more are answered in So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter...How to Make Money Writing Without a Byline.

Read more here:



7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition

At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!

Read more here: