I’ve compiled a list of what I think makes a really great table. These are just my thoughts and I would love to hear from authors any other ideas that you have that have been successful for you. I’m all ears.
Now, it took me awhile to get all this material because, let’s face it, it’s pricey to get it all at once. But, build your material base slowly and you’ll find you will soon have a nice amount of collateral for your table.First, get a nice tablecloth. I have two. One small round one for card tables and one larger, rectangular one. I chose a nice red, with a linen feel, that I got pretty cheaply at Target. I think they cost me $16 each.
Make sure you have copies of your books. In my early days I made the mistake of thinking I’d sell 50 books at my very first little library chat (stop laughing)… I’m still getting through that inventory. I suggest bringing no more than 20 books at a time. If I have an event with more than one novel being presented, I’ll bring that number down to ten or fifteen each.
Poster: I got a nice poster for my novel THE HUNT FOR XANADU for under $50 at Staples. It looks great and I plan to get additional posters for my FLYING TO THE LIGHT series when I can. I’d recommend getting an easel or even an old music stand to showcase it.Postcards. This is the newest thing I’ve purchased and I LOVE THEM. Why? This way if I don’t bring the books, I have a postcard to give out with a blurb written up about the novels. One half of the postcard is empty so I can write a note to them and it offers a nice recap of the novel so if someone wants to later download it to Kindle, they can. I got these at Staples too. I purchased them in bulk and got them for about $0.80 or so each. I love the idea of putting two books on at once for a series and plan to do them for my next YA series coming out.
Candy. Seriously, who doesn’t like candy? For one event where I was showcasing my buddhist thriller I tried to keep “to the theme” and purchased individually wrapped asian cookies. I couldn’t give them away, but the chocolates I brought as a back-up were a hit. That’s now my candy of choice. I splurge and get Dove Chocolates and put them in a little glass bowl. If no one comes to your event, at least you have something yummy to snack on.
Other various things for your table. Email sign-up sheet and some photocopies of your book’s reviews. If people coming to your table seem to be waffling about the book, you can simply hand them a sheet of paper that has the reviews downloaded right from amazon and they can take it with them to read.
I thought of having my trailer run on a loop on an IPAD, but I haven’t done that yet. I have seen other authors do it, but it requires people to stand there and watch a video versus talk to you. I still like the idea and it seems to be a nice thing to run in the background for your table.
If anyone has anything else that works, please tell me. I would love to hear.