How Can I Create a Talk That Will Sell Books? (guest post with Pat Gohn)

pat gohnFor this week’s post, I asked popular Catholic speaker, author and podcaster Pat Gohn to share some pointers for authors who want to connect with potential readers at conferences, retreats and talks.

Last weekend I had the privilege of watching Pat in action at a Catholic women’s retreat at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Elkhart. She was presenting a talk on her book Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious.

Barely were the last words of Pat’s talk out of her mouth than the majority of the women in the room stood up and made a beeline for her book table! She sold out her entire stock in about 20 minutes. (Book signing, Pat style, takes time!)

Here are some of her suggestions . . . Feel free to chime in with any others you’ve found work well for you!

1. Drop your asking price to below online pricing (or at least match it). This kind of generosity (one of the feminine gifts!) encourages readers to buy multiple copies as gifts for others. (Editor’s note: Obviously this only works if you are using books from your own stock, purchased with your author discount!)

2. Tell people that the talk you are about to give is based on your  book, and hold up a copy of the book for them to see! Then tell them what your book is about, and the reasons writing the book helped you (and why it might help them to read it).

3. The book and talk should have a symbiotic relationship. You’ll never be able to cover everything in your talk (or your book), so elaborate upon some key points (using stories as much as possible) from the book in your talk, and let your audience know when you are moving quickly through a point that is covered more in depth in the book.

4. Share a few anecdotes from the book in your talk, to really connect with the audience. Be sure to include a good mix of highs and lows (laughter and tears). I share about the joys of love in marriage, and the lows of cancer and bad mistakes we might make.

5. Include value-added features in your book. BBB has great resources in the back to take people deeper into the themes of the book. During Q&A time, if someone asks a question that is tangential or only slightly related, I refer them to these resources.

 Thanks, Pat, for your generous mentorship!

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