by Mayra Calvani
Just like Christmas is a wonderful time for children’s book authors to market their Christmas picture books, Halloween is the perfect time for horror authors. There are many events you can plan ahead of time to sell books during the spooky month of October. For instance, you may do book signings at normal bookstores, or, better yet, at horror specialty bookstores. You may host a Halloween party and invite all your friends, co-workers, relatives and neighbors. If you’re a children’s author with a Halloween-theme title, you can host a party for your children’s classmates, as well as do readings in schools and libraries.
The important thing here, however, is to make the event fun and ‘spooky’ for everyone. At singings, why not wear a costume? If your book is about witches, why not disguised yourself as one and arrive with witch’s fingers cookies and a caldron with dry ice for a special effect? If your story deals with vampires, why not dress up as one and offer glasses of a deep red drink? The same goes for zombies, monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures. The idea is to play out the ‘theme’ of your book, and to get plenty of attention. Decorate your table with spider webs, bats, rats or black cats, and other paraphernalia. Be friendly and always look at visitors in the eye when you talk to them. Offer them something to eat or drink—anything that will make them want to stay by your table and look at your book. Your imagination is the limit. It’s up to you to make your book signing a success, and although it’s not easy, it is certainly an advantage for a horror author to sell books during this time.
I once heard of an author who hosted a Halloween party at his home and sold over two hundred copies of his book in one night. He sent out invitations one month in advance to his relatives, friends, and neighbors. He also posted flyers in local libraries, bookshops, and around his neighborhood. Of course, he went all the way with decorations, food and drink. His house became a ‘real’ haunted house, complete with props, creepy music, candelabra, dry ice—naturally, his books were beautifully displayed at various locations throughout the house. Most guests were more than happy to purchase a copy of his book before leaving.
For book signings and readings, don’t forget to plan the event and contact the coordinators at least five months in advance, as they may have tight schedules during the Halloween season.
Remember that booksellers, especially specialty shops, are more willing to consider horror titles for shelf display during Halloween. So if you want your book to be sold in these shops, contact the owner or acquisition clerk several months ahead. You may approach them with an attractive brochure of your book, but preferably with a copy of the book itself accompanied by a brief cover letter. For a list of about thirty booksellers that specialize in horror, please check this link: http://www.horror.org/horrorlinks.htm.
Mayra Calvani is an author and book reviewer. Her latest release, DARK LULLABY, is a paranormal horror novel set in the Turkish countryside. For a blurb, excerpt and reviews, visit www.MayraCalvani.com. To view the trailer, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZgbg5wk5Ug .
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