One of the best ways for authors to sell books and make money is to actively speak and present in front of targeted groups. Of course, speaking is not for everyone. The shy and dull need not apply. Non-fiction authors have many more opportunities than novelists and poets. So where can one speak, especially during these isolating days of corona?
Well, many opportunities have opened up online, while many places shut down in-person speaking opportunities. But with the pandemic’s infection numbers dropping as vaccination numbers rise, there is pause for optimism. We will soon see a hybrid model for the second half of 2021, where some events will remain as online-only while some will simulcast online while there is a physical, in-person event going on.
Then, by 2022, we get back to most, if not all, events being in person. How well attended they are will depend on whether we reach herd immunity and the public’s confidence or willingness to mingle in person.
Whenever things open up, authors should be prepared. Now is the time to research potential speaking opportunities. Some will be unpaid, but the opportunity to sell books and market your brand will be there. Others will pay speaker fees or charge attendees an admission fee that includes the cost of a copy to sell books, establish a brand, get a message out, earn media coverage, and build a resume that could lead to more and better-paying speaking opportunities and consulting gigs.
Of course, speakers need to get their acts together. You will have to:
· Craft a pitch or query letter to be sent to groups you seek to speak before.
· Develop a speaker’s kit (background info, including video of you speaking).
· Come up with a list of places to approach – and dig up their contact information.
· Create presentations on various topics and of differing lengths.
There are a zillion places – locally, nationally, and internationally – that you can speak before, from bookstores and libraries, to schools, churches, businesses, non-profits, associations, government agencies, and many others. Often, to locate them, you need to go online and search for these places. Many times, there is an existing directory that has compiled exactly what you are looking for.
Here are some lists to consult:
Non-Profits and Charities
You can also search for things like “industry” and “conference.” For instance, try women’s conference, mental health conference, or business conference.
Authors should also look into speaking at book fairs or events put out by library associations.
The National Association for Campus Activities (www.naca.org) and The Association for Promotion of Campus Activities (www.capca.com) put on showcase events for speakers, entertainers, and authors.
Of course, authors don’t have to rely on a group, bookstore, or company to invite them as speakers. Authors can launch their own events and speak anywhere. They just need a location, microphone, and something to say.
Get out there and chat it up.
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at email@example.com. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.
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