The Shift Back to Live Events in Book Marketing

Marketing a book is a multifaceted process that encompasses everything from traditional media pitching and brand partnerships to Facebook ads and speaking engagements. In our new “Smart Marketing” series, the BenBella Marketing Department will share insights into hot topics in marketing and publicity and practical strategies authors can put into practice.


Today’s Smart Marketing post is from BenBella’s Marketing Director, Jennifer Canzoneri.

The digital age certainly impacted book marketing and promotion, as authors and industry professionals can attest. The internet and social media marched in new ways of connecting with an audience and seemingly long gone were the days of sweeping book tours across the country. In their place were webinars, Twitter chats, Facebook Live events, and dozens of other affordable ways to engage with an audience without having to hit the road.

And it’s amazing what opportunities a good WiFi signal can afford an author who is just trying to reach an engaged audience. Here in BenBella’s marketing department, we’re routinely amazed at the new and creative “events” that pop up.

But we’re also amazed, especially over the last few years, of the ways in which author events have shifted back from mostly digital to creative, offline, in-person events. Traditional book signings still exist, but there are so many cool ways of hosting a live book event that are as creative as ever.

Here are a few ideas we’ve been really inspired by recently, to help you think outside the book signing box:

  • Profs & Pints — Free lectures over a beer? Sign us up. One of our favorite BenBella authors, Dr. Dan Lieberman, will be teaching (and talking about his book The Molecule of More) on September 12.
  • Library/Museum author programming — Who doesn’t love their library, but libraries are putting authors in front of readers better than maybe ever before. Some favorites: The Free Library of Philadelphia, Dallas Museum of Art,
  • Creative Mornings — This inspiring gathering of professional (or just aspiring) creatives are popping up in dozens of cities each month and many authors are being showcased
  • Partnering live comedy with an author Q&A With more comedians releasing books and memoirs, having a comedy show with the author as a headliner, and allowing time for a quick reading, Q&A, and book signing is a wonderful way for the author to show off the skills that is sure to make their title a hilarious hit!
  • Writing retreats and workshops. Places like The Writing Barn or 1440 Multiversity or bookstores like Book Passage combine the craft of writing with authors who have great work to share.

Definitely look to bookstores (and did you know, indie bookstores are thriving?) for fun signings and author events but don’t be surprised if your favorite author might pop up in an unexpected place soon.

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