19 May 2019

Networking and Publicity events come in all shapes

Early Birds enjoying the pre-event refreshments
A big thank you to all those readers and would-be writers who yesterday joined a group of East Yorkshire novelists at the Beverley Treasure House for The Romantic Fiction Read Dating event. You were attentive, laughed in the right places, and asked plenty of questions. A dream audience.

It was also a reminder of why I should participate in these events more often. Did I sell masses of paperbacks? No. Did I expect to? No. For the novelist it's a networking and publicity opportunity. Anything else is a bonus. 

My fifteen minute talk and reading of an excerpt from Beneath The Shining Mountains was a little too rusty for my liking, though no one seemed to notice. Perhaps they were intent on the reproduction Medicine Woman's hat I'd brought along. I do believe in props; they can mask a multitude of sins. I'd also distributed postcards of my titles grouped by genre - the reverse carries three lines of information on each including a shortlink to its Amazon page - and I may pick up a few ebook sales. Best of all, hardly any were to be found left on seats when the room cleared.

The event also acted as an injection of enthusiasm for my writing. Life can't help but impinge on occasion, and chatting with attendees about their reading preferences, and explaining how I went about my research, has given me the impetus to crack on with the current work in progress. 

The event also complemented the Authors North meeting I attended in Leeds the previous Saturday. The focus there had been on industry trends, what publishers were looking for, how agents specialise and interact, while the attendee networking concentrated on publicity and marketing. 

Two very different events, but all part of the same whole. And we do need both.

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