Do you give talks at libraries, bookstores, or community groups? If so, here’s a handy checklist so you don’t forget your essential items.
Autographed by Author Stickers Optional; not all readers want a sticker on their signed book.
Book Cover of Upcoming Release
Bookmarks: Yes, readers still like them. And even if your books are only available in ebook format, a bookmark or postcard is a reminder the guest can take home.
Books to Donate: Optional; This works for a library donation or door prizes if you’re a guest speaker at a community group.
Box of Books: Always bring a box or two for when you sell your own; otherwise keep some in your car trunk in case the bookseller doesn’t come through.
Bottle of Water: This isn’t necessary if you’re in a conference hotel that provides water for speakers or if the talk takes place at a restaurant.
Business Cards: Be sure to include your website, blog, and social media URLs.
Calculator: This might be needed if you are selling your own books, or else bring a pad of notepaper to add the cost of multiple copies. Or use your cell phone for this purpose.
Camera: Bring a camera or use your cell phone to take pictures of your event.
Cash: Bring an envelope with small bills for change if you are selling your own books. Consider if you want a credit card app on your cell phone or if you will accept personal checks.
Computer Thumb Drive or Laptop: If you are doing a PowerPoint presentation.
Conference Brochures and Flyers: For your local writers’ group for recruitment purposes.
Handouts: If you are doing a lecture, bring a handout people can take home. It’s always appreciated and stays with them longer than a PowerPoint presentation.
Mailing List Sign-up Sheet: This is the most important item to bring. If you are speaking to a writers group, offer to send new sign-ups a file via email of a related handout of interest to them.
Notices of Upcoming Appearances: If you have a slate of appearances, give it to attendees. They might tell a friend who’ll want to hear you speak.
Printed Promotional Material: i.e. postcards, bookmarks, and brochures for your series.
Sharpie fine point black ink permanent markers: Bring plenty of pens, but not expensive ones in case you lose them.
Wheels: You’ll need to haul boxes of books if you bring your own. Look in luggage stores for folding wheels or put the books in a carry-on size suitcase.
With this handy checklist, you won’t forget anything important. What else would you add?