In Real Life Events: the setup

IRL Events Continued

A couple of weeks ago we talked about doing IRL events, like signings, talks, and conventions. Now let’s look at what exactly you’ll need for setup. So let’s begin.

What Do You Need?

First you need your setup. This includes things like a tablecloth, runners, signs, banners, a candy bowl, bookmarks, business cards, etc. Let’s take a closer look from here.

Your table setup is super important. It’s what makes you look professional and grabs people’s eye. So make it eye catching while still getting info across. Post excerpts and ads to merchandise for example. Prop up your books on stands as it’s more visually appealing. Show your name off with something like a runner or a banner. Consider making an author logo and/or a series logo for your books to put on your runner or banner. Here’s an example of my signing table at my last event. I often have a sign for my bio with my links on where people can find me online as well as an ad for my merchandise. I do have a runner with my author logo as well. Take a look.


Your handler is the most important thing you’ll need. This person plays a pivotal role. Not only of an assistant to keep the show running smooth, but they will also keep you calm when you’re a bundle of nerves, take photos of you during the event and with your fans, handle the nitty gritty things like collecting the money for your books while you talk to the fans and sign books, and run interference if anything is derailing you. They are also great for talking you and your story up to people who are unsure whether they want to buy. 

You’ll also need things for sales. Change for cash and even a counterfeit pen to check the money coming in. Receipt paper for those who want a receipt. A credit card reader works wonders in this day and age where many don’t carry cash, and they are easy to operate. And a record book to keep track of your sales. 

Other things you may need are things to entice people to your table. Bring cookies or have a candy bowl. Have prizes or swag either to give away or sell. There are lots of different Print on Demand sites where you can have merchandise made. It will draw people over to your table and get them to ask questions about your book. Consider holding a raffle for a prize or two. The prizes could be something as simple as a notebook or coffee mug. Or even a t-shirt. Keep in mind though that you need to make sure you have the right license on your images for your cover before you make merchandise. Otherwise it may cause you legal trouble.

Finally, have what you need to make yourself comfortable. An extra sweater to keep yourself warm, something to drink to keep you hydrated and awake if need be, and snacks to keep your blood sugar up. 

Now you’re all ready for your IRL events! Happy signings!

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