Of library displays and author promotions …

Many of you know that I have been taking a hiatus from my author impresario business, Alberta Books Canada, while I write, promote my own novel, and try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Alberta Books Color Logo - very small

I’m currently back in Calgary, Alberta, for a bit of a visit (because I had made a commitment long ago to give a presentation at a Calgary library – and I’ll be attending my high school’s reunion in Toronto!), but I plan to return to Bequia at the end of May. I wasn’t sure if anything would come up for me while I was in Canada, as far as a paying job or situation were concerned, but I decided to keep an open eye and mind and listen for opportunity to knock.

That hasn’t happened yet during these past two weeks, but I have returned to rethinking the whole Alberta Books Canada thing and would like to throw out some ideas to get feedback on how I might be able to reorganize my promotion business.

There are four conferences I know of being held in Alberta during September and October. I have attended all of these conferences in past years and set up displays of books at each for the benefit of librarians and readers in general. These were informational displays only. I’d be willing to come back to Canada and set up this kind of display once again, and possibly offer the service outside of Alberta (in Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as the Kootenays in BC), if I knew there would be enough support. I’d also, in this case, be willing to display books by PRAIRIE and KOOTENAY authors and publishers, and not just Albertan. I’ll be sending out an email to my current list of authors and publishers who displayed their books with me previously, just to see what kind of response I receive. But I realize that many authors who have never displayed their books with me may also be interested in this opportunity. If that’s you, and you would like to find out more about this promotion, please send me an email: susanmtoy (at) gmail.com. There is a possibility I will be able to “display” eBooks as well, so even if you don’t have a print-published book, this type of display may work for you, as well. Once I receive your inquiry, I will send you the information you’ll need to decide if this kind of promotion will work for you.

And, for those of you who have displayed books with me previously, would you mind making comments here as to what you thought of this kind of promotion and suggestions as to how it may be improved? Thanks for any and all comments.

I would even consider an alternative business name, rather than limiting myself to Alberta Books Canada. Does anyone have a great alternative suggesting the prairies and the mountains?

If I were to attend conferences once again, I would also consider setting up separate promotions and events to highlight prairie-province/Kootenay authors and publishers – literary salons, reader conferences, virtual conferences (which I could run from Bequia, now that I think of it!), and author auditions for book club members to attend (to help them decide which books to read), as well as finding paying reading gigs for authors. There is also the possibility that I might sell books at these various venues – although I would prefer to bring in a local bookstore to sell for us where this is possible.

So, lots of ideas churning in my head at the moment. (Not a big surprise there to some of you.) Thanks for any help you can offer here. And now, to make up my mind, for once and for all …


4 responses

  1. Just wondering if this is a combined tour with authors alongside or do you represent in a distributor capacity? And what commissions do you charge to carry books with you to sell or place as required? You can check out my publishing web site and respond through the “contact us” form if you’d like – look forward to your response. Thanks for your time. Great blog. I love the Alberta name but if you are expanding to more – maybe Western Canadian Books. Linda

    1. Thanks for your interest, wildhorse33. I will send you an email.

  2. Hi Susan.

    Last year was the first time I participated in the book tour with you, and I thought it was a great idea. I would definitely do the tour again. By this fall, I will have two books to go on tour.

    I really hope it works out for you to do the tour.

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