Aloha from Karen
October 1-10 is Christian Store Week, the second annual one to be held across the US. I’ll be at Amazing Grace in Mullica Hill, NJ on Saturday October 8th, from 1-3PM to participate in the special event.
What’s it all about?
Christian stores are hurting because of online sales and the economy. Store owners are there to serve people and be missionaries and share God’s word through books. They have hearts to serve and often stop to pray with customers. The week hopes to bring readers into stores and connect readers with authors at events. The week is also a fund raiser to help the hungry.
For authors events are key. A simple author signing doesn’t bring in people unless the authors has a huge following. But an event combined with sales and a national campaign can be good for all and connect authors with readers plus encourage stores to promote the author throughout the year.
For Amazing Grace the event is the right time and location. The town’s biggest celebration of the year occurs the weekend of October 8th. It’s the annual Fall Festival with a Civil War reenactment. Sidewalk sales and fun on main street are part of the event and the store is on main street. That makes it special and attractive.
As an author I’ll be providing a craft for kids, another author will read from her children’s book, and another author will provide some special activities to teach about truth versus witchcraft. The store can announce the activities via email. One of my publishers plans to create a press release to send out about my participation.
When efforts are combined with events the stage is set for success.
It’s easy to participate
Go to christianstoreweek.com and sign up as an author. Also check out your zip code to find local stores participating in the week. Contact the store (or the store may contact you) and be willing to go. Plan something special such as an activity, a short talk, or free tip sheets to pass out.
If you are part of a critique group ask other writers to join you on that day and support the local store.
Once at a store during Christian Store week talk with the workers and owner. Encourage them. Take advantage of the sales. Talk with customers and be enthusiastic. Pray with the store owner too.
Have fun and support your local stores.