THEN....my heart dropped when my favorite author gave me a snide smile and pushed my book to the side without a thank you or even eye contact. I couldn't believe it!
When I became an author I knew I wasn't going to be like THAT author. I was going to make sure I took the time to thank each and every one of my readers. Something small and intimate. I wanted them to feel appreciated and know my gratitude.
Along came social media and it was game on for me! Not all authors are social, but when they step into the public arena they need to be somewhat nice. Social media has been a game changer. It was my opportunity to take my dream of connecting with readers the way I wanted to connect with my favorite author (who was no longer on my TBR list!).
Over the years I have been able to connect on a more personal level using social media and make sure my readers have the opportunity to hang out when I'm doing live events. I have hosted tea parties while away at conferences, I rented a cupcake shop while on book tours, and I have hosted coffee parties at various coffee shops around the U.S.
BUT....in January I had an idea. What if I made my own annual weekend reader event, invite another author each year to join me and host it in a different city each year?
I was off and running! I had decided I wanted to do something with mystery since the first four in the Ghostly Southern Mystery Series, published by HarperCollins, was being released this year. I found a few murder mystery theatre trains. After making a few calls, I picked The Old Dinner Train in Blissfield, Michigan which is outside of Toledo, Ohio. Then I called a hotel to reserve a block of rooms, and the closest Barnes and Noble to book my own signing.
(Yes...I do have a publicist at HarperCollins and she was like What? Wow! when I told her what I had done.) I called another mystery author, Duffy Brown (because she is low drama and always up for anything) and we unleashed the graphic.
(me and Duffy Brown)The tickets sold out within hours! We couldn't believe it. It was January and the event wasn't until October!
The weekend exceeded all my expectations! The train's max was forty readers and it was intimate enough to be able to talk and spend time with each of them. The readers loved it and instead of the typical giveaway of a book bag, I had gotten them spa kits with the weekend logo stamped on the kit along with a donated book from author friends.
The last night of the event, I announced 2016's event and what authors I had picked to come along. Another mystery train, only in St. Louis, MO! I opened up the registration that night and the tickets sold out! I will continue to host a yearly, small, intimate event for my readers! I want them to know how much they mean to me and how grateful I am for them.
Have you attended your favorite author's events? Leave a comment and be eligible to win the first FOUR novels in my Ghostly Southern Mystery Series!
For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. HarperCollins and Witness Impulse is thrilled to be publishing this insanely talented and wildly successful author for the first time with her hilarious and spooky Ghostly Southern series.
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