In 4-H, I learned how to properly set a table. You must place the fork on the left and the knife and spoon resting on a napkin on the right. But how do you set a marketing table?
At book signings or as a vendor, you want your wares - your book(s) - to be displayed attractively. You cannot stand out in a crowd if your table is not different than the others. A white table cloth does not do the job.
What does? A colored cloth which reflects your book or cover. Before my inspiring-historical romance, Lockets and Lanterns, was released, I used varying cloth colors. Why? Because my book, Seasons of the Soul, was divided into chapters by seasons so I used a red cloth for the Christmas/winter season and a lime-green one for spring.
Now, since my Lockets and Lanterns cover is mainly in black and white, I use a black table cloth. I also can play off the cover’s title: Lockets. Lanterns.
I place my book face down so the locket pictured on the back cover is displayed and beside that I put a small-black lantern. On each side of my guest book (which gives you a marketing list) for people to sign, I have a bride and groom, each made from a handkerchief. Why? Because the cover includes an old-fashioned wedding picture. I bought the handkerchiefs at a fabric store. Shop those and craft outlets for ideas.
Also, do not forget to be practical. If you are doing an outside event, remember wind and rain can endanger your display. Be prepared for these acts of Mother Nature. I bought a rod-iron rack which I use to display my books. This can stand the breezes which come in my neck of woods at any time.
Another necessity is business cards. Do not forget those. If a customer sounds interested but lacks funds, have them take a card because circumstances could change. Also, this individual might think later of someone to give your wares to as a Christmas or birthday gift.
Best-selling author Ruth Ann Nordin and I did an event earlier this year. I learned something from her. Catchy titles also bring people to your table, such as her romance, The Wrong Husband. You could not believe the people who stopped or passed us and commented about their “wrong husband.”
Her idea got me thinking about what I could do at a future event in Seward, Neb. I came up with “It happened in Seward.” I could do this because a minor character, who plays a key role in the plot’s development, moves to Seward. It worked and brought in great sales.
A few tips: never dismiss a small town event. These can be better than larger ones where people may come more for the entertain, etc., rather than wanting to stop at booths. In addition, remember not everyone will like your book. If your book is a romance, ask them if they like to read romances. If they do not, why give them a pitch and waste their time? However, if your book, like mine, has a mystery to it, you could plug that angle to a mystery lover. I have done this with my Lockets and Lanterns novel because it includes a mystery where the husband hides a secret from his wife. Well, I will go for now and as always God’s blessings to you.