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Thursday, July 11, 2013

My First Reader’s Conference, Ever by Terry Spear

I learned that a book seller wouldn’t be on site so we had to bring our own books. I had already paid $50 in shipping costs for prizes and book giveaways so I didn’t think that was a good idea to have to do the same for books for the book sale. So then it was: take clothes to wear to conference…or books to sell.

On top of that, they said we had to take cash or credit and all of this was on our own. Great.
I’m trying to move into the new millennium, but I feel I’m taking a crash course. I’ve been making Photoshopped covers, websites, blog all the time, know some html, create newsletters… publish books, ebooks, print books and audiobooks, yet I had an old fliptop phone and my Highspeed Internet was only .15 Mbps.  How do I know? I tested it.
So I have been paying for “Highspeed Internet” which was slower than the proverbial molasses. And I finally got a new service and it’s so fast, I have to learn how to use it. No more having to visit my kids just to use their Highspeed Internet! And the best part, besides that it is fast, is that it costs the same as I used to pay!
Now, back to unplanned book sales and how to accept credit payments--
Here is an easy way to accept credit payments through Paypal, only from what reviewers said, you can’t do it if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone. Which I have.
Or you can use a Square Register that apparently works for everyone pretty much, including my kind of phone:

So what works with promo? I love having book marks. I offer them on my website and ask for an SASE to send them, have them with me at all times to share if anyone asks about what I write, stick them in books that I’ve autographed at stores, and it just makes it easier to say—this is what I do, my website, and some colorful pictures that tell more of the story. But at least one reader conference told us not to bring paper or it will just be thrown out. So I made up some magnets: A Howl for a Highlander cover on some with “Find Romance in Paradise” on a sandy white beach and aqua water backdrop or “Have wicked fun in paradise” and the cover of Jaguar Fever on jungle background: Big cats need loving too. And a couple of Highland books on a magnet that says, “Hug a Highlander…or two.”

I usually don’t do candy, but I found butter mints that were in animal wrappers, so picked those up for conferences. I don’t know where I’ll be able to use them, but I’ll be on panels and the book signing, and a couple of games.

Here is a great place where you can personalize candy if you like to do that sort of thing. That’s also where I got the animal print covered candy.
I ordered some of the chocolate candy with a brown wrapper, gold print that says “Hug a Wolf! Terry Spear” Just for fun.
I brought along my jaguars to keep me company. Also perfect for branding. When people see me…or my jaguars…they will instantly think of wolves or jaguar shifters.
A fan and good friend of mine made up a jaguar bag and a wolf bag for me to carry all my goodies in! So they will be a great book drop for signings at all the conferences and to take my prizes and game stuff in to games. Oh, and the pot holders came from another dear fan and friend and I’m attaching a sign saying: For jaguars too hot to handle.
Last year at Anaheim, I had a lot of authors/writers oohing and aweing over my vinyl posters that I laid out on the table beneath my books for signings (Vistaprint.com). I wanted something more noticeable than white table cloth, stack of books, stack of book marks. And that’s what we need to do… do something to make us stand out!
Even if you aren’t published yet, always think: How can I brand my work? If I run across something that might be great help in branding the kind of work I write…maybe I should get it for a future venture.
I use these to blog about too. Not just for the conferences, but way before.
But no matter what you decide to do…have fun doing it! Always!


Bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written a couple of dozen paranormal romance novels and two medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance and continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear .

1 comment:

Terry Spear said...

Oh, and, I had a blast! Have a writer's and two more readers' conferences to go to and got my hotel room reserved for my first RT conference. I'm ready! I made new fans, met ones who have been following my series since the beginning, and a reviewer who loves my books! Even a book store owner, too! Readers' conferences are the best!