Friday, September 29, 2017

Author Speed Dating

I'm lucky to be included in an author speed-dating event at Bouchercon. The email I received asking about it contains terrific information. It's quite clear. I'm pasting it into this blog because I've always appreciated the shared advise on Type M.

Two persons are "teamed" and we will move from table to table. I'm working hard to prepare 160 table favors for fans and others who will remain seated. The authors making the pitches move from table to table. Not the fans.

I like to sew and fiddle with crafts. The 160 favors is not as daunting as composing decent pitches.
I suspect it's a good idea to wear comfortable shoes. Not an ideal venue for stilettos.

From the organizers:

What is “author speed dating”?

Each author gets a chance to pitch their book(s) to 20 tables of up to 8 readers to a table. Authors are put in groups of 2 and move from table to table every 4 minutes — so if you and I were paired I would talk for 2 minutes and then you would talk for 2 minutes. We’d pass out bookmarks or other stuff. And then at the 4 minute mark we’d travel to the next table!

 You two will be making the rounds of the tables together. You’ll both begin at Table # 15.

It is incredibly popular and the book room floods with buyers when it is done!


There will be TWO GROUPS OF TABLES – tables 1-22 and tables 23-44 – two sessions taking place simultaneously in the same ballroom. Each group consists of 44 authors. You will be traveling from table to table only within your group.

Please prepare your pitch and be sure it is less than 2 minutes long. Each author gets 2 minutes and you will then get 1 minute to move to the next table, for a total of 5 minutes for each session. We MUST enforce the time limit strictly in order to allow every author to address all the readers in your group. Leslie has a handbell and Les has a microphone and we will signal you when it’s time to move on.

It will help – a lot – if both of you work together – author 1 speaks while the other distributes any flyers, pens, takeaways, etc., then author 2 speaks while author 1 distributes. Please plan accordingly.

Each group will have two tables with just two seats and a LARGE Reserved sign. They’re your rest stops. When you reach one of these tables in the rotation, it’s a chance to sit and catch your breath for 5 minutes. You’ll be glad of the rest stop.
Wow, what a chance for promotion! I'm looked forward to this high energy event. Bouchercon is in Toronto Canada this year. It's count-down time already!


Sybil Johnson said...

Have fun! I've done the author speed dating at both Malice and Left Coast Crime. At Malice there was only one rest table; LCC had two, which I much appreciated! Really made a difference. Interesting that there are two sets of authors. I haven't heard of that before. Here's hoping you get many people interested in your books!

Charlotte Hinger said...

Sybil, I think we're teamed with someone because there are so many authors attending this year. They like to work in as many as possible.

Marianne Wheelaghan said...

Phew! This sounds stressful and a hard way to sell your book/s. I cant decide if I'd like to do it or not. Good luck!!!

Sybil Johnson said...

Hi Charlotte. I wasn't talking about the teaming up, which is done at Malice and LCC also. I was talking about how they have two separate sessions running at the same time. Malice and LCC only has one so every author visits every table in the ballroom. Bouchercon is much bigger so I'm sure that's why they did that.

Yep, Marianne, it is stressful. I forced myself to do it at two different conferences. It's also tiring listening to the authors talk about their books. Well worth being on the receiving end, though.