Part III of Promotion--In Person
When you are dreaming about being an author, thoughts seem to go to doing book store signings. Many authors still do them and quite successfully.
In my case, bookstores have disappeared from our local areas. I still have a few favorites that I like to visit for a signing. However, I've found if I am going to draw people to the store for the event--it needs to be just that--an event. Give a talk and have refreshments. Even pick a theme to build the event around.
Libraries are among my favorites to visit. I like to do any kind of event in a library. Giving a talk of some sort is a must. Being part of a panel on a subject of interest is always fun. I just participated in one on cozies--and I'm going to be part of one soon on the E-Publishing Age.
But there are many other venues where authors have had successful events: restaurants, coffee shops, wineries, grocery stores, to name just a few. Think outside the box, as they say.
If you have the right kind of book, schools can be another place to give a successful presentation. Whether or not it'll be a place to sell books will depend--but you can always hand out cards, bookmarks, and/or flyers for the children to take home.
I have an author friend, Shirley Hickman, who has written a book that has caught the eye of her school district and teachers have purchased books for their classrooms. It's a YA book about a Latino family and the perils of being undocumented and working in the orange groves. The heroine is a senior in high school. It's well-written, exciting, and enjoyable for adults too.
Going to book fairs and festivals are also great places to meet readers and sell books. You must engage with the passerbys though--don't sit in the chair and read or do handwork like I've seen some authors do.
And there are writers conferences. If you can be an instructor that's a great way for people to get acquainted with your books and sell a few.
Different cons also are great places to meet readers and introduce your books to them. If you can be on a panel, great. If not, take the time to speak to everyone and hand out your bookmarks or cards.
Be sure and add other ideas in the comments.