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Event FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Event Participation

How Should I Dress?

Dress as a professional writer. This means different things to different individuals, but here are a few humbly-suggested guidelines:

Consider that you probably will be photographed, and the image used in other media. Or worse, on TMZ. Are you putting your best professional "face" forward? Let that be your guide.

GLAWS Authors at WeHoOutdoor Events: Dress cool and comfortably. Bring a hat, sun block, sunglasses, water or any soft drink that will keep you alive. Yes, GLAWS usually brings an ice chest and lots of bottled water. We make every effort to keep the booth cool, but if we are outdoors, under the sun, it's going to get "toasty".

If the weather starts to trouble you, take a break and find some air conditioning, or a place to rest. Ask the booth staff for assistance.

David MorrellIndoor Events: A little "dressier" is suggested. Yes, we are "California casual" most of the time, but if you want to be seen as a professional, dress like on. Some men wear sport coats or jackets-over-crew-shirts. Think of it as a first-impression interview with every potential fan/buyer who visits the booth.

Even at genre conventions, such as The Los Angeles Science Fiction/Fantasy Convention or the Orange County Children's Fair, we suggest you leave the Klingon ears and clown noses to fans and attendees. If you want to be seen as a professional author, part of your platform is to dress like one.

In all cases, we suggest VERY comfortable shoes.

How Many Books Should I Bring?

Charles Domokos GLAWS Booth WeHo 2008Don't bring more that you can fit into a duffle bag with wheels.* Typically, bring 5-10 per hour, though you may bring more. You must be able to move everything in and out of the booth without hurting yourself. You may want to keep an extra supply of books and support literature in the trunk of your car / van as backup.

(Note: while we encourage you to bring everything in a bag with wheels, some venue, such as the Anaheim Convention Center require that you carry things in/out. Please check the specifics of the event for such restrictions.)

You should have already supplied GLAWS with a sample book and an 8x10 standup ahead of time for the booth display bookcase. GLAWS staff will bring and remove those before and after the event.

See a floor plan diagram and photos to give you a feel for the overall layout.

What Else Should I Bring?

LATFOBAs many bookmarks, and small literature handouts as you wish to distribute. It could have a photo of the book with a short teaser, contact information for you the author, your web site, and ORDERING INFO. You need to keep them in a neat stack, protected from wind or careless hands.

One author only sold four books her first appearance, but she had an assistant stand out front and pass out bookmarks. The following day, she sold ten times as many books!

When your time slot is completed, plan on taking any literature and signs with you unless you have permission from the booth staff to leave them on the back bookshelf as handouts. We will bring your display book and 8x10 standup back, but the staff cannot manage leftover literature.

A digital camera. Take as many pictures as you can. Have fans take pictures of you with other fans. Other writers. These make terrific memorabilia from an event, and for use on your website and/or blog. And if you send quality copies to GLAWS, we can use them on the society's website to commemorate the occasion and promote you some more.

A guest book. Collect as many names with emails and contact information as you can. A prospect today can turn into many sales tomorrow, but only if you can reach out and contact them. It is an important relationship-builder.

Leslie Ann Moore with GLAWS at the Los Angeles Times Festival of BooksA good attitude. Authors need to have an enthusiastic, positive, outgoing attitude when meeting fans and readers. It is important to your public perception and therefore your platform. It helps sell books and create the impression with fans that you're worth reading and remembering.

Occasionally, we have an author who has sat there, almost afraid that someone will speak to them, like the preverbal dear in the headlights. Yeah, we're all hermits living in caves for a year at a time when we're writing, but at these events, it's time to take off your monk's outfit and party! Make friends and greet everyone like a long-lost relative that owes you money. It's only a couple of hours and who knows, this might be the very person who can help you up the next step to success as a writer.

LATFOB 10x20NOTE: For most shows, GLAWS takes a 20' x 10' booth space or larger: One 10x10 is for authors and their books, with bookcases spanning the back. The other 10x10 is for GLAWS hospitality and storage.

This allows authors to have enough room to promote themselves and their books, while the society has space to manage the booth and provide outreach to prospective new members. As always, we work with the promoters for best possible location to have the highest traffic and best visibility.

See a floor plan diagram and photos to give you a feel for the overall layout.

How do sales work -- who takes the money?

Each author makes his or her own sales, charges state sales tax, and manages 100% of the transaction. You should have a receipt book for cash sales (which you can get at any Office Depot or Stapes), extra petty cash (singles, fives, and change) depending on what price you are selling the books for, and if you want to take charge/debit cards, you need to set up a merchant account.

paypalgraphicIf you do not want a merchant account, but want to take credit and debit cards, there are several systems to chose from, including PayPal, and Square, which plug directly to your smartphone. You simply set up an account ahead of time linked to a bank, pass their setup qualifications, then they send you a free card reader.

If you do not have/want a merchant account, you might arrange to share one with a fellow author in the booth. The transactions are between you two.

GLAWS booth staff does not touch your money at any time. GLAWS does not offer consignment. We make the space available to you to sell books and services, and promote your platform, our valued members.

What Should I NOT Bring?

No floor stands, tripods, or any fixture that someone could trip or fall over. If it doesn't sit in the allotted space on the bookshelf or on the table, it doesn't fit in the booth.You also need to sign the GLAW Liability Waver. We are required to provide it to the promoter.LATFOB 10x20

  • No over-sized signs. Authors love their books and want to see them on billboards, but if we allow one person to have a larger sign, we would have to allow them for everyone and there's just not an inch of spare space in the booth. Don't ask, don't bring.

Surprise guests. There is only room in the booth for each authors and the booth staff assigned to that time slot. If a significant other has driven you, or come along for moral support, ask them to remain outside the booth.

It's just a matter of space. This also means NO children, NO pets.

If you are handicapped and require help, or are in a wheelchair, please let us know in advance, so we can make arrangements accordingly. (Note: some events are held in parks, or on grass, which may be an uneven surface. One location, we even had large metal floor plates in part of the booth. We have no control over these conditions, but do our best to make things as comfortable as we can for everyone.)

Where should I park?

We try to supply this information as soon as we get it. You may alternately, go to the event's official website for details. If we learn of preferred author's parking, we will email that information to all participants.

Parking costs what parking costs. Most venues subcontract the parking and have no control over spaces. For a 10x10 booth, we might get one parking pass, if at all, which we give to the booth Chair and crew to load materials, tables, etc. in and out. The rest of us are on our own. If we do get extra passes, we will certainly spread the "wealth", but it's rare.

When Should I Arrive?

It's always good to be there 30 minutes early. At some events the parking fills up before noon, so plan on arriving accordingly and take in the show. Let the booth manager know you've arrived and when your slot is scheduled. When you're shift is over, please try to move out quickly to make room for the next author. Thanks for your understanding.

Can GLAWS store my extra books?

No. It's not that we don't want to, there's just not enough space in a small booth. Also, some promoters don't allow overnight storage of anything other than our fixtures. All we need from you in advanced is one book and an 8x10 display card for the bookshelf.

When Should I Leave?

Vibe Nystrom GLAWS HospitalityWe don't mind you hanging around afterwards IF there is space. But chairs may be limited and the next author needs the room. And the booth staff needs room for "outreach" to new members, as well as just room to move.

You are certainly welcome to stop back from time to time and see if you can help. In addition to their slot as an author, some members appreciate the work the society does and volunteer to extol its virtues to potential new members (we call this "outreach"). Sign up for this ahead of time, get trained on our policies, bedside manner and procedures, and you're welcome to a separate volunteer slot. Training? Yes, we have a specific way we want everyone greeted who approaches the booth, so every attendee feels welcome and that it is worth being a member of the society.

If the event has an admission fee, and we get free tickets, we give them to our volunteer hospitality/outreach booth staff.

Speaking of that, GLAWS always needs volunteers to set up, operate, then tear down and pack out the booth. There is no payment, other than our profound gratitude and perhaps consideration towards a future event.

Got a question not covered here? Contact the Event Chairs.

And have a successful appearance!

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