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Create Virtual Book Events

One great thing about this pandemic is the way organizations and individuals have embraced virtual events. As an author, I've met teachers, writers, and readers from around the world. I was comfortable teaching online before, but I've learned a lot this past year. 

Please note, this is not a blog post telling you how to talk about your book. Instead it's just different ways you can meet your audience virtually. I emphasize in my course Beyond Book Signings, the goal is to engage and connect with your audience...not to sell them a book. If you serve them through genuine engagement, the audience will want to take that connection to the next level and support you by purchasing a book (or asking their library to do so). With that in mind, I beg you not to just read to the audience. Provide a memorable experience! 
Here are some ideas to get you started with creating a virtual event for your book. 

Create a DIY online book event. 

I love how Rebecca J. Gomez created a virtual event for her book Federico and the Wolf. (Her book is a fabulously clever retelling of a familiar fairy tale. Can you guess which one?) She included lots of hands-on activities for families including a seek-and-find game based on the illustrations, guess how many in the jar contest, coloring contest, fairy tale trivia, and prizes. What a memorable event! 

Create an online book event with your publisher or a bookstore. 

When Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls came out, my local bookstore wanted to support me. However, they had only held virtual events for adults. We tried it, and our event was a success! I shared trivia from a variety of my books, but they were all general-knowledge questions, so no one needed to have read my books to know the answers. There was even a family participating who met me at an in-person event hosted by the same bookstore. (They created this graphic for social media. Each tile swayed like it was on a string. Very eye-catching.) 

Create an online book event with someone else who has a similar release date. 

Tina Cho and I were thrilled we had children's books releasing the same day. They were very different books, but we teamed up and created our own Zoom event. This was really just a casual book chat, but we recorded it. You can watch it here. Want to know how incredible The Ocean Calls is? You'll be able to watch the story in the future! 

Create an online book event with someone who has a similar topic.

Cindy Wilson and I teamed up to use our books to discuss a common topic: the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Cindy is the author of The Beautiful Snow: The Ingalls Family, the Railroads, and the Hard Winter of 1880-81, while I wrote The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide. We teamed up for a book discussion for all ages with lots of history about The Long Winter. I wrote for kids. She wrote for adults. But we share a great love of research and history. 

Create an online book event with a museum.

Viewers wanted more Little House book discussions from Cindy and me. We decided to team up again and reach out to the Ingalls/Wilder homesites. We have our next event scheduled with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Pepin, Wisconsin where Little House in the Big Woods takes place. Details are still to come, but you can subscribe to Wilder Companion blog or my monthly author newsletter so you don't miss anything.

Participate in an online event with a book festival.

Book festivals are typically by invitation (after application--at least if you're not well-known). These are often not interactive. However, I was still thrilled to take part in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Children's Literature Book Festival's virtual event last year. I also took part in the virtual Collingswood Book Festival. I recorded videos for both since there was no live participation. Below is one of the videos.  
Here is the other video focusing on The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide. If you watch both videos, you'll notice my introductions are quite similar. You can do the same! I find introductions hard, so once something works for me, I tend to keep using it. 

The information in this post is just a taste of what you'll get from my on-demand video course called Beyond Book Signings. My big focus is connecting with your audience in authentic ways at any book event. The video course is really for all writers, not just kidlit. 

Use this discount code at checkout with ANY KitLit Creatives writing course!
Get 15% OFF 
Discount Code: WRITE15
I'm also available for personal consultations to help you brainstorm ideas to authentically engage your readers in a events--both in-person and virtual. Email me to learn more. 

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