We all think about invitations and press releases and publicity before a bookstore event, but what about afterward? Politicians call it “taking care of your base,” and it’s good manners as well as good business.
You probably have an e-mail list from which you issue invitations to your bookstore events. Pay attention to everyone who attends, and send a follow-up e-mail after the event, thanking them for supporting your bookstore and your guest author. You will only be expressing what you truly feel.
Not everyone who was invited will have attended, of course, so if you maintain a blog or other bookstore website and/or if you’re on Facebook, be sure to report the success of your event. Everyone likes success, and no one wants to be left out of fun. When people see how many others came to your bookstore, they will be more likely to show up themselves next time—and those who came will want to attend the next time around, too. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words–maybe not when it comes to a book, but certainly when it comes to publicity!
Who helped out with free publicity for your event? Radio, television, online, and/or print media? Those people deserved to be thanked, too. If there was a publicist involved, be sure to send a follow-up report and thanks for whatever help that person provided (even if it was minimal).
It should go without saying that you will thank your guest author for taking the time to come to your bookstore. It isn’t always easy for a writer to venture out of the solitude of his or her writing studio, but it takes a bookseller and an author to create a memorable author event for the book-buying public.
Your reputation as a bookseller rests on the way you deal with media people, bookstore customers and writers. Treat them with the respect and appreciation they deserve. Where would we be without them? They deserve our appreciation!