iUniverse has discovered a connection today that is worth using to provide author advice. Today was the birthday of Christina Foyle, of the legendary bookshop Foyles, in 1911 and the final time in 1969 that The Beatles played together live on the roof of their Savile Row, London building.
What’s the connection?
Christina Foyle founded the famous Foyles Literary Luncheons. There were over 700 attended by all the great and good, Prince Philip, Lauren Bacall, Margaret Thatcher, TS Eliot, Sophie Tucker and Jilly Cooper to name but a few. Also John Lennon had his book, “In His Own Write”, out in 1964 and subsequently was invited as the guest of honor to a Foyles luncheon.
The lunch became legendary in that John claims to have been unaware he had to make a speech and so caused a furor by speaking for just four seconds saying:-
“Thank you very much, and God bless you”, or “Thank you all very much. You’ve got a lucky face.” or “Thank you, it’s been a pleasure” (Note:depending on which report)
Anyway this caused much controversy amongst the gathered literati and the media which probably only fuelled another Beatles myth. Following the lunch John said:-
“Give me another fifteen years. I might make a speech. Not yet.”
And years later said:-
“There was a literary lunch to which I was invited and at which I couldn’t think of anything to say – I was scared stiff, that’s why I didn’t. I got as big a kick out of seeing that book up there in the writing world’s top ten as I do when The Beatles get a number one record. And the reason is that it’s a part of a different world.”
Anyway his book sold over 100,000 copies and became the No.1 bestseller.
Creating a literary lunch or party to market your book?
Here are a few tips from iUniverse to help you.
1. Put together an invite list: A definite first, as knowing the names of the people (and how many) you expect is really key to securing a venue. Especially if you approach a bookstore to host the event as they might ask for a guest list to decide if they can break even on your party.
2. Venue: There are pluses and minuses of a bookstore. A bookstore lunch is harder to attain and potentially creates more headaches. Care of the store, timescales, and the store’s interests, which include making money whilst they are closed to the public. Conversely, if your party is a great success and you sell lots of books, you will have a beautiful relationship with your local bookstore.
3. Lots of food and drink: You can’t have too much. Trust me– People like food and you’ll have a higher turnout. If you’re worried about cost, go self-catering and get your friends and family to help out.
4. Creative add-ons make people happy: I’ve seen some authors have themes that relate to their books, but avoid making the theme a precondition of the party, just a bit of fun. If not a theme, have a raffle! Maybe for the best comment related to your book, which helps you promote your invite. Also have giveaways to take home which make are a good thank-you and reminder; perhaps personalized bookmarks or pens.
5. Have plenty copies of your book: A must for book sales. If your venue is a bookstore, you will need to agree prices with the store owner, if not a bookstore then you can have a special discount and sign, sign, sign. So have plenty of pens.
6. Thank everyone continually. You should make this your policy at all times, however be particularly gracious at your book party, and expect the least from your guests and appreciate everything as much as possible.
iUniverse publishing trust these tips will help in your book marketing and enjoy your lunch.