Posted by Heather McCollum Mar 29 2017, 1:00 am in author events, author promotion, libraries, reader events, tea
Hello everyone! I just love libraries. The hushed peace, the smell of so many books packed together, just
waiting to be opened. And I love tea. The warm, calming sensation that comes with sipping (silently) the subtle flavors of suntanned leaves steeped with honey, or sugar and cream, or just plain. Books and tea, a perfect pair.
I was recently invited to participate in a Romance Writers Tea Party at my local library. All the libraries in my county were part of the program. Three romance authors were invited to each party to rotate between tables where attendees drank tea/lemonade, ate cookies and strawberries, and asked us questions. It was a marvelous event!
The library had copies of our books on the table, and we could bring others for purchase as well as our free swag for attendees. Keeping with the tea theme, I made paper tea bag/chocolate holders with my web site and book covers on the outsides. I set one at each attendee spot, along with my book marks, notepads and pens. Inside one of the paper tea holders, I stamped a shamrock. Whoever sat at that table spot won a free copy of my book, CAPTURED HEART.
The tea party was held in the library conference/children’s program room and started out with everyone mingling, getting refreshments and choosing a seat. One spot, for the author, was left open at the three tables. The librarian introduced each of us with a brief bio, which we provided to her.
Collage for CAPTURED HEART – Scottish Historical Romance
I started off at each table showing some of my collages, which I use to help me write, and discussed my process. It was very casual and attendees asked questions throughout, although the very on-top-of-it librarian had a list of potential questions on each table. At twenty minutes, she encouraged us to switch to another table, although we all ran over.
At the end, attendees were able to fill up on refreshments, take a look at the books, sign up for newsletters and talk with each author if they had individual questions. And a couple people bought my books. It was a unique, fun way to meet new readers (even if you don’t like tea). If you are a librarian or have a local library, you could suggest a Romance Writers Tea as an outreach event.
Here are a few details about my particular experience:
- Three authors were invited to attend each event. Each author received a $100 honorarium.
- Between 15 and 20 readers attended each tea party.
- The library made up fliers and a poster for each entrance into the library. They asked for reservations so they would know how much food to have.
- A beverage station was set up with hot water, various tea bags, sugars, creamer/milk, lemonade and ice water.
- Attendees were asked to bring their own tea cups but could use the paper ones provided.
- Cookies and strawberries were set out with napkins and little plates.
- Tables had table cloths and simple center pieces (I brought my own tea pots for the center pieces).
- I’m the only one who wore a hat, but a library could suggest hats as part of the fun.
- The event took about one and a half hours.
Have you ever attended a similar author event in your area? Were there interesting features/details that made it even more fun?
For more information about Heather McCollum, including her homemade Chai Tea Latte recipe (link below), please check out her web site and sign up for her newsletter http://www.heathermccollum.com/.
Chai Tea Latte Recipe