Let’s face it, your audience is one of the most essential parts of being a writer.
Finding an audience, though, can be tough—perhaps the toughest part of this business.
Opportunities are rare; chances aren’t often given.
Fortunately, publishing companies are becoming more and more aware of this, which is why events like the 12th annual Hampton Gift Bag program exists. Each year the major publishers including, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Houghton, Mifflin & Harcourt and countless others place their authors in this program.
Simple: It’s about getting WOM (word of mouth), the Buzz, influencers’ eyes and mouths wagging about their books.
Each summer, gift bags with books are placed through out the Hamptons and Hampton-ites must reserve this coveted gift book bag to get on.
Novels, novellas, and eBooks are all viable submissions—there are no limitations. Several well-known eBook authors are already participating this year, including Sandra Champlain (“We Don’t Die”) and Laura Atchison (“ What Would A Wise Woman Do?”).
As a writer myself, I can admit, I might be hesitant at first. Despite our fixation on our audience, we writers also like to hoard our work. We want to be able to test it out tentatively, to slowly expose it to the world; or else we continue to cling to it, because we’re not quite sure it’s perfect just yet. Sending out that novel we’ve been slaving over for the past five years to random strangers is definitely intimidating. But at the same time, it’s also a great chance to actually experience what writing as a profession is like. We have the ability to test it out on a live, eager audience ready to accept and experience the stories we have to offer. Beta-testing is a necessary part of the process, of learning whether what we have works or how we can make it even stronger.
It’s also a great opportunity to get some insight into the business end of writing. We always think the actual writing of the book is the difficult part until we hit that inevitable wall in publishing. How do we market our work? How do we find our audience?
The gift bag event is a fantastic and fairly simplified way to build publicity for yourself. Even in the age of the internet, building interest in our writing can take time and be difficult. You have the chance to put yourself out there, to get people talking and invested in what it is you have to say. Part of the point of events like these is to find new voices and new perspectives. It’s always a risk we take as writers, to speak honestly and to find out if people want to hear us—but it’s a risk well worth it. It makes what we do that much more meaningful; giving yourself that initial chance is always the first step.
When you are ready to start promoting your talent, your book simply email:
firstname.lastname@example.org and mention my name “Jeff” to get a discount.
Rates were created to support young writers!
* Full disclosure: I receive a commission for anyone that signs up.