Creative Marketing: Connecting Romance Readers and Authors at the Library
Speakers: Amy Alessio, Simone Elkeles, and Susan Gibberman
This was the first panel of the 2012 RWA Librarian's Day on July 25th. I had my iPad and transcribed the panel as best I could. These notes are pretty much 'as is' and I may have missed some things. If anyone has any questions, please comment and I'll do my best to answer.
The panel opened with introductions and then segued into each panelist talking about what types of programs they've done in libraries.
Simone does writing programs for kids, not necessarily romance. Emphasized good story is important, not so much genre. Does a lot of programs for school & public libraries. People like to hear stories about being an author. Panels with multiple authors work really well for her. Recently judged a writing contest, short story for YA by public library. Authors and editors appreciate librarians. Authors thinking editors are the gods, but editors thinking librarians are the gods. Promises to try not to swear. Everyone who entered contest got to enter Skype session with her. If you ask, authors will do writing workshop. She never goes to events expecting to sell books, about connecting with authors. Juvie boys love Perfect Chemistry series. Detention centers love her books. Kids on probation will use public libraries. Likes networking with school.
Amy has a lot of teens on advisory board. Unvalentine parties. Mad libs: used pags from romance novels, took key words out. Advisory board has a lot of input into programs. Chocolate tasting programs. Teen chocolate tasting. Good program to kill time and it turned into actual club for various foodstuffs. online teen romance group because teens won.t come in and say they want to read romance. Run by minimally paid volunteer, trivia, quizzes, etc. Hires a YA author to teach teen writing workshops once a month. Favorite writing icebreaker is story round robin.
Susan: All for Love. Charity event at the library, 100% proceeds went to the American Heart Association. Like a fair. Lasted for 10 years, raised over $25000 dollars. Some people are not great speakers and you don't know this until they show up and start doing. Reiterates, don't intend on selling books, goal is to connect with authors. Library offers free writing seminars. Racy-ish title piques interest, which is necessary when competing with other programs. Cross-promotioon, all five libraries advertise for each other. Decorating flowerpots/rain barrels, public vote on the best decorated & prize won. Themed contest with books.
Simone handed out free books at a skate park. Enjoys receiving emails from readers who have a personal connection with her books.
The question was asked "What other ways do you market reader's advisory?"
Simone was given books in school she had to read and she hated them, turned her off of reading. So she writes things she wanted to read as a teen. She tells kids who say they hate to read that they'll like her book beccause it's for people who hate to read. Book Tour wanted her to read to Honors English class & she wanted to read for the remedial kids because that's who she connects with. Decided to do a rap video trailer for her book, Perfect Chemistry. Wrote rap, hired producer from Chicago, auditioned actors, & everyone liked it because it didn't take the book seriously. Internet kids, this is how she connects with them. Thinks her heroes are better than Edward. Very picky for role of Alex. Wanted dude from Katy Perry's Hot n Cold video. Found him on Linked In. Put up money to hire him. Dude agreed to do it, "sounds like it'll be funny." She told producer to take his shirt off despite lack of shirtless scene in book. Found third brother through Facebook, actor in Freedom Writers. Encourage teens to make book trailers. Encourages librarians to reach out to authors. Also tells librarians to reach out to authors to do guest posts on library blogs.
|When Simone spoke about meeting supermodel Alex Rodriguez, Amy held up this huge poster with scenes from trailer. All of the speakers were excellent, but Simone was particularly funny.|
Susan says poll revealed most of her patrons get program information from the main library program guide, which means they have to compete with other programs. Uses HootSuite to manage library twitter accounts because she can schedule tweets. Does a special program guide just for her departments so she can put as much information as she wants. Get every staff member involved so that if a patron inquires for writing reference materials at ref desk, reference librarian can say , hey, we have these writing workshops.
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