In the Internet era, so much has been lost due to the lack of personal contact and everything being done online. It is a genuine pleasure to get out and meet and greet people who buy your product or services. I’ve been quite fortunate as the author of The March of the 18th: A Story of Crippled Heroes in the Civil War, and to have met and spoken with those who have purchased my book. Many thanks go to the accommodations that local branches of a national bookstore chain have provided. It’s a lot of fun and something I look forward to every time.
In doing this over the past six months, I have learned quite a bit about what you should and shouldn’t do as an author in presenting your book at these locations. It’s not rocket science, but if you pay attention to some of the things that I have learned, you, too, can achieve a great deal of success in selling your book at these venues. I’ve compiled a fairly extensive list that should be of great help.
DOs and DON’Ts
People like to meet authors, especially if they look like… them. Be yourself. If you are naturally private and introverted, take a chance and act out of your comfort zone. Re-invent yourself for an afternoon.
I have a theory about customers at brick and mortar bookstores. Half know exactly what they want, and are on a mission. These folks are hard to engage. The other half are killing time. They are looking for something that peaks an interest, is reasonably priced, and may teach them something they didn’t know before they met you.
This customer is your target market.
Each sale is very gratifying. But selling them all is tremendously satisfying.
“Kevin Horgan is a USMC veteran (’79-’84) and served as an infantry officer. The March of the 18th http://www.marchofthe18th.com is his first published work. He enjoys writing and talking about the book, and discussing with everyone the forgotten heroes of our nation’s history. He is committed to giving half his royalties to charities for wounded veterans, and is deeply appreciative of the support he has received for writing and marketing this historical novel. “
As someone who has been involved in the Tech community for over three decades, and most of that time here in Atlanta, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen such excitement in the Atlanta area in Tech. The number of startups I’ve encountered is incredible. There is certainly no lack of brilliant new ideas. As with all new technologies, some will succeed while others will fail. What’s important is that these businesses are starting, creating new opportunities for thousands of people and generating tremendous residual value for the overall Atlanta economy.
I think what’s really unique about this time period versus years ago is that startup capital seems to be more readily available. In the past, Atlanta was often overlooked as a technology center, but now many angels and VC’s seem to be embracing the city and all of the exciting things going on. From Internet security software, mobile applications, and biotech, to financial transaction systems firms, there seems to be no loss for potential companies that may revolutionize the way we do things and benefit mankind. The only area that is really lacking appears to be in hardware based on discussions I was involved in the other night after an angel meeting. Perhaps this, too, will emerge as one of the new growth areas.
There’s certainly no lack of talent to assist in executing ideas. With this growth has come a corresponding increase in the number of Tech jobs. In fact, according to a recent study by Trinet, Atlanta now leads the nation in the creation of Tech jobs with a growth rate of at 3.31%. This is great to see.
What’s more, there is a great deal of buzz about what’s going on. I’d like to applaud the efforts of Wes Moss and his Atlanta Tech Edge Show which is on Sunday mornings at 11A here in Atlanta. I’d also like to thank the many sponsors of the show and WXIA TV for backing it. It’s been something which has been needed for years and is now becoming a great catalyst for furthering the success of so many Atlanta Tech companies. In addition to the media exposure, there’s also been a groundswell in new infrastructure to support what is now going on. There are many organizations and educational establishments such as the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Southern Polytechnical. Georgia State University, and the University of West Georgia, as well as the many other fine institutions in the area, that are committed to making things happen. Coupled with incubator and coworking spaces popping up all over the city. including Atlanta Tech Village, Opportunity Hub at 200 Peachtree Street, Strongbox West, and ROAM, to name a few, all of the pieces seem to finally be in place to take Atlanta to the next level and truly position it as a dominant world leader in emerging Tech.
Finally, with the low cost of living, moderate climate, great national and global accessibility, you can;t beat it as a place to live. I moved here form Boston over 30 years ago and have never looked back. I do miss Boston and my family and friends, as well as celebrating the World Series win by the Red Sox, but I’m looking forward to finishing out the rest of my career in Atlanta. I hope that you’ll join me. I’d like to leave you with a very well done video that was recently done in support of a new campaign called #chooseATL. I believe that this will certainly provide my followers worldwide with a sense of the gear things going on here in metro Atlanta and why if you’re thinking about starting a Tech company or if you’ve just recently launched one that Atlanta is the place to be.
Over the years many (many) people have asked me how to pitch to an Angel Investor for funding. To me it is very simple. As Tom Cruise said “Show me the MONEY,” Simply put an Angel Investor wants a clear, crisp and compelling path to how they are going to make much more money in a risky investment than they could on a very less risky Index Fund.
You say “What does an Angel Investor look for in that path?” Again simple. They look at five areas. They first look for a strong and experienced Management team with significant passion other than money, that they can trust in business as the world changes, that are optimistic they can succeed and also have character and integrity that others will follow. They secondly look for a strong and growing business opportunity in a growing industry and usually at least US $0.5B. Third, they look for a strong, relatively predictable business strategy that is practical and methodical so they can get their investment back in a defined period of time with significant profit. Fourth, they look to see if they believe the product/service’s value to the business’s customer is significant and Fifth, they look for a significant return on their investment by looking at a strong investment return.
You need to cover all these five areas in addition to talking in simple terms what the product is upfront. For example something like “We design, market, install and service Hospital Information Management Systems.” “The problem we solve is being more efficient while providing better quality of care for your family and mine” Again, very clear, crisp and compelling.
Then let the Angel Investor ask the questions they are most interested in.