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The Magic of Cross-Promotion How To Do It Frugally Style

A Retrospective of the Doings at the LA Times Festival of Books

Sunday, March 16, 2008

AC Catalog: Let's Get Those Book Buyers' Names Going!

It's time to submit names of the book buyers at your favorite bookstores to Joyce Faulkner.

The idea here is have the catalog go out (primarily) to bookstores that might be familiar with one or more books in the catalog. That, along with the tie-in to the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Book and with Authors' Coalition, gives book buyers a reason to pay special attention to ALL the books in the catalog.

So, participants send us names of bookstores that you are willing to contact either before the catalog comes out, after or both. Your pitch goes something like this:

"I am a local author associated with Authors' Coalition and featured at the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books. You will be receiving a catalog soon in which my book, XXXX, is featured as well. I do hope you will take a look at it."

AFTER the catalog goes out, your pitch goes something like this:
"I'm hoping you received the catalog."

If the book buyer says they didn't receive it, offer to send them another copy by post (extra copies are available in groups of 25 at a small charge) or by e-mail (ask and we will send you a pdf of the catalog which you may use electronically or print out yourself). Either way, ask them if they have your book in stock. And then suggest an event/booksigning. You'll have better luck if you can offer them a workshop or seminar on a topic related to your book than if you only ask for a signing. In your pitch tout every award, every sales figure you can. Another figure that will impress them is the number of people you have on a list to invite to such an event. Don't mention it, though, if you don't have more than 500 or so.


BOOK BUYER'S NAME (IF NOT, STORE MANAGER OR EVENT DIRECTOR) This is very important. It makes the mailing more personal. Include the contact's title.)
ADDRESSCITY STATE AND ZIP CODE (We have to have the zip!!)
TELEPHONE WITH AREA CODESuggestion, copy this form, fill it out as many times as you can--hopefully 25 times--25 different bookstores. And then paste it into the e-mail window for Joyce. That way you don't forget anything! (-:

Those who have done catalogs with us before should update their information, indicate it has been checked and/or let us know in bold if any detail has changed.

Please send these names by March 27. All our time is volunteered so let's make it as easy on Joyce as we can.

Others interested in the catalogue must take care of payment and the list very quickly. Call me at 818-790-0502 if you would still like to participate. We still have about 4 ads (depending on size) that we could fill.
1/8 page: $125
1/4 page: $250
1/2 page: $500
Full page: $1000.

Blogging by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, founder of Authors' Coalition ( Learn more at both the AC site and Carolyn's website, and her blogs:

On Marketing and Essentials Like Parking!

I'll post these notes on marketing occasionally; they may make you think of things you can do to drive traffic to your segment. In so doing, of course, you benefit the entire booth. This is a cross promotion effort! (-: The note to me is in Roman, my answers are in bold.

Last November I was invited by the UCLA Native American Studies Program to speak at their 2-hour brown bag lunch series. The bookstore brought over 8 books but sold 14, the total number of people who attended the seminar lunch. I'm sending a special invitation to the department and letting them know that I'll be on campus Saturday and Sunday and offering them a special rate, even less than the Festival rate that I'll be offering. They will send out an announcement through their internal network and I hope to have a good showing on both days. UCLA has one of the largest Native American Studies programs in the U.S. so, for my book this is great.

ANSWER: This is great, targeted marketing, Danalee. The whole booth will benefit.

Will security care that I'm walking into the festival pulling a big black suitcase full of books, etc.? Will you have some sense of the best lot to park in to be close to your booth?

ANSWER: Remind me just before to give you all very specific parking instructions but for right now, parking is $8. and lot three is closest to our booth. It is near the corner of Hilgard and Sunset (northeast corner of campus). And, trust me, security will be EXPECTING people rolling big lots of books around campus!! (-:

By the way, before I forget. Make yourself a name tag that indicates you are a signing author. If you include a satin ribbon rosette (available at Stapes or Michaels I believe) you will be a standout! If anyone would like to volunteer to do this for the entire group, I will supply names. Otherwise, you're on your own. Methinks I have me hands full. (I think that's Irish for "I'm trying really hard to keep up my steam. (-: )

Danalee Buhler

You're welcome. Let's all think of the organizations that might be interested in our books right now! And be getting a list ready to send out invitations to the members!


Blogging by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, founder of Authors' Coalition ( Learn more at both the AC site and Carolyn's website, and her blogs:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Question on Book Fair Book Sales Answered

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks again for all of your helpful emails about the festival. My book, Running From Coyote: A White Family among the Navajo, is receiving some great reviews. You can see Tony Hillerman's comment, as well as the Discovery Kirkus Review on my web site:

I have a couple of questions.

QUESTION: First, I plan to bring 40 books with me for the signing. In your experience, is that too many, too few? If I need more, I need to order them now from the publisher.

ANSWER: You'll be getting a notice on this soon. But yes, 40 would probably do it. It is a hard thing to know, however, because the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books attracts 135,000 visitors (among them directors, producers, etc) so anything can happen. So much depends on:

1. the title
2. the author (if he/she is recognized by some and if he/she has learned/knows how to relate to people walking by)
3. the amount of promotion the author has done both in general and for the signing
4. the price of the book.

Also, keep in mind that, though we would all like to sell lots of books at this fair, fairs in general are about, yep! exposure and credibility among readers. So, think sales, certainly. But keep in mind that what you are really after is to be associated with this fair (LA Times and UCLA and Authors' Coalition!) and to use it has a vehicle to contact bookstores, contact media, contact libraries, contact readers.

Let the world know that you will be featured author at the AC booth at the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books!

QUESTION: Secondly, I have two laminated 11x17 inch "Meet the Author" posters which I plan to add an 8x11 inch author photo. I will hang these on the booth. Can I use these instead of the requested 14x16 inch poster? I will pick them up by closing on Sunday.

ANSWER: Yes, but you would need to get some grommets in them so we can string wire through them. That's how they get hung. And we do the hanging, around the top of the booth. If you want to keep one to use when you're signing (stand it on the table near your book display, as an example) that would work. One for the permanent display in the booth (hung by wire) and one for your display as you sign. )

QUESTION: I was planning on bringing my own cash box and handle my own sales. Is that how it's done? That's not a problem for me. I have some old fashion candy give-a-ways for my 1950's memoir. I will also bring my 3x4 foot Navajo rug for display on the signing table.

ANSWER: Yes, that's it exactly. Each author is in charge of his/her own little table area, his/her own book sales.

COMMENT: Finally, I will provide ten books for your give-a-way program.

RESPONSE: That the booth offers a f r e e book to people who buy books from any of the authors (while supplies last) obviously makes it possible for people to see your book even when it isn't your turn at signing. Thank you. That's a nice incentive for our readers to buy others' books and so appreciated by all. Thank you, Dana.

I will have the items listed in your last email ready to mail to you around the first of April. I look forward to meeting you.

Danalee Buhler

SUGGESTION: This blog is made available to all authors so they can learn more about planning for fairs. Go back and see what we've done in the past, how they might be applied to any fair or booth you might be planning.
Blogging by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, founder of Authors' Coalition ( Learn more at both the AC site and Carolyn's website, and her blogs:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Getting Ready: Signs and Posters

Training: Your Signs

Here is what you'll need in terms of signs for your appearance at the Authors' Coalition booth at the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books.

There are two aspects to your signage. What you put on the table with your books and the poster for the booth. Both will be part of the display pack you will be sending to me.

Signs for your portion of the signing table:

There is not much to tell you about these. They should use few words, be bright in color if possible, list any specials you want to offer and you should have some way to make them stand upright. Kinko's has easels that can be adhered to the back of poster board or any other material you choose for your signs. You may have separate easels of your own. You may choose to make them as tent cards. Keep in mind that, as an incentive, our booth provides a free book to customers who buy your books while supplies last. And, yes, we will accept copies of your books for that if you wish to contribute slightly damaged copies or whatever. (-:

Your posters for the booth.

It is time to produce your posters if you should choose to accept the assignment. (-

These posters get hung around the edge of the booth. They are not required. And they are a bit expensive. It is your choice to have one or not, but keep in mind that these will not be returned to you. You can come back to the booth as we are tearing it down to retrieve it, however.

This is how to do it.

~~It should be 14 inches wide and 16 inches long. (Do not reverse this. Your poster should run vertically!

~~It should be an image of your book. You can add a few words like "Award-Winning" but I strong suggest you keep words to a minimum. Let your book cover speak for itself. You want people to be exposed to that image over and over again. If you choose to use words, they should be large. People will be reading the signs from a distance.

~~Your poster must be laminated. Kinko's can do that for you.

~~Your poster must have grommets in the UPPER two corners. These are little holes with metal around them. Like the ones your shoelaces go into. That is how we hang the posters. If your poster does not have grommets, it may not get displayed.

This poster must be sent to me on or about April 1. But, please not before.

Do not send the signs for your table display; bring them with you along with your books to sell. (More about that later.). Your package to me will include:

1. Your poster.

2. A copy of your book.

3. Your bookmarks or business cards.

4. A holder for business cards (very inexpensive at Kinko's)

5. Order forms. These include a way for people who see your book when you're not signing and want to order it from you. It should give them all the details needed to do so including where to mail the order or how to do it on the Web. Use an order form from a catalogue as a sample if you are unsure. Be sure to tell them how you will accept payment. Check, money orders, credit cards? If you prefer orders go to your distributor or publisher? Etc. These should be about 4 x 6 inches--about index card size or a little larger. DO NOT SEND FULL SHEETS. I WILL USE THEM BUT YOUR DISPLAY SPACE WILL NOT LOOK VERY NICE IF YOU HAVE PAGES 81/2 X 11 IN IT.

REMINDER; NONE OF THESE MATERIALS WILL BE RETURNED. They will be donated to a library if you do not pick them up at 5 pm on Sunday.


This will be posted on our book fairs blog so you can go back and refer to it. Also, if you have suggestions to share with others, please leave them as a comment on the blog. (-:

Friday, March 7, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Authors' Coop Offers Trial Videos at LA Times Fair

Big Video News!

Best Selling Author TV To Be at LA Times Festival of Books

Rey Ybarra, the interviewer for the video many of you have seen and commented on is fantastic. See what he did for me on the video in this blog. It has been an extremely effective promotion. Isn't his camerman, Randy, fantastic? You should see the professional equipment they use! And their knowledge about getting that video out to places that most authors know little about.

They will be filming at the Authors' Coalition booth at the LA Times Festival of Books April 26 and 27th with a special introductory price for videos. I'm hoping lots of authors drop by to see what he can do for them besides film a really nice video. Find him at Explore the videos he has done there. Check out his amazing past in radio and TV.

More details to come. Or e-mail me with VIDEOS in the subject line.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sample Release for AC Members Participating in our Catalog

This is a sample of how a release would look for those participating in the Authors' Coalition catalog. Please see the next blog for a sample of how the general template was adapted for one of our signing authors last year.

Contact: Jorge Lan
Phone: 727 2300568

For Immediate Release

Little Great Ones "Benjamin Franklin" featuring at LA Times Festival of Books

DATELINE (your city and state here)—"Benjamin Franklin", a biographical read-along series published by Little Great Ones, will be featured in Author's Coalition catalog for the LA Times Festival of Books. The catalog presents Authors' Coalition's finest authors in a full-color catalog to booksellers and media.

This catalog is issued in conjunction with the Authors' Coalition booth on the beautiful UCLA campus in Westwood, CA. on April 26 and 27.

Jorge Ian, publisher, says "These biographies authored by assorted writers, will promote a love for reading and knowledge in an appealing and entertaining way and help establish the essential values that great historical characters have taught us by example in this fully-illustrated book and CD. Of course, Benjamin Franklin was one of the most admirable men of his time and one of the most interesting. His story travels from thunderstorms to great inventions to the independence of our country."

Veronica Vidales, a mother and sales director of Inquamsolutions, Inc, a book distributor, says:“I congratulate you on the quality but mostly for the values you are instilling in children. My son will surely have these books.” Veronica Vidales (Mother and sales director, Inquamsolutions Inc. Book distribution).

"Benjamin Franklin" is authored by Nancy Shepard, educator, art teacher and parent counselor. She has been a Montessori teacher for more than 20 years and worked with children from all ages, constantly exploring and developing better teaching methods. She is the head of an art institute for children and the principal of a Montessori school.

Learn more about Little Great Ones at

Other authors participating in the Authors Coalition program are Catherine McDonald, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Barbara Crandall, M.D., Pam Kelly, Joyce Faulkner, and Pat McGrath Avery. Featured books include everything from nonfiction to poetry to genre fiction.

More information on the LA Times Fair go to The fair is f r @ @ to the public. UCLA parking is $8.

Learn more about Authors' Coalition at 

Support material available on request

Sample Media Release

This is a sample media release from Karina Fabian. It was adapted from the general release. I'm including it so you can see how that is done. The general release for 2008 will be posted soon for people to use as a template. And then another release that was adapted as a sample for those participting in the catalog. Beginners should keep their releases simple and clean.


CONTACT: Karina Fabian

For Immediate Release

Catholic Sci-Fi at LA Times Book Fair

Fredericksburg, VA--Catholic sci-fi fans will find something to interest them at the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books this April 2? And 2?: Infinite Space, Infinite God, an anthology of Catholic science fiction edited by Karina and Robert Fabian.

Infinite Space, Infinite God features fifteen stories about the future Catholic Church. They tell about Catholics struggling to evangelize to aliens and lost human colonies and to determine the soul-status for genetically modified humans, genetically-designed chimeras, and clones made from the Martian sand. They feature the adventures of religious orders devoted to protecting interstellar travelers and inner-city priests. Two stories explore how technical advances allow monks to live in solitude on the Moon and to help one criminal learn the true meaning of Confession. The introductions discuss present doctrine and current trends in technology to set the framework for the stories and, the Fabians say, to encourage discussion.

"We're very excited to have our book at the festival," said Karina Fabian. "It's a terrific opportunity to showcase a genre of fiction that often gets neglected--religious sci-fi. I know people of any faith persuasion--but especially Catholics--will enjoy the stories. Like all good sci-fi, we're examining issues rather than evangelizing. This is faith-filled fiction for people who think."

Festival attendees can explore Infinite Space, Infinite God first-hand at booth 610, Zone F. The LA times/ UCLA Festival of books, in its 12th year, is the largest book fair in the United States, with over 130,000 attendees and more than 370 famous authors. The Festival, located on the UCLA campus, also features literary, cultural and musical presentations on six different outdoor stages. And explore our two giant children's areas, where there's storytelling, crafts, costumes characters and lots of family-oriented activities. Admission is free.

Those unable to attend the festival can learn more about Infinite Space, Infinite God at its website,

Infinite Space, Infinite God is available online at

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Full Media Kits, headshots, Book Cover Art and more available upon request both electronically and by post.