I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in the first edition of the Imaginaria show, organized by the Leclerc cultural center in Saint Etienne du Rouvray, near Rouen. Kelly Roger, the volunteer who helped organize this event dedicated to SFFF books, thought of me when it came to establishing the program and I can only thank her with all my heart! Firstly because it's a pleasure to be asked for this kind of thing, and secondly because it's a great promotion opportunity for an author like me who is almost impossible to find in physical bookstores.
So, first of all, a big thank you to Marine and the team for this fantastic work promoting the Imaginary genre. It is all the more remarkable since this comes in addition to her daily work and because she organized this event out of passion, both for readers and for authors. And there is work! Marine tells us everything in the interview.
– How did you think about this event?
– I wanted to highlight different and more or less local authors in order to highlight the imaginary universe and liven up the space for our customers. I hope everyone enjoys the meeting.
– But you thought about much more than “simple literary salon”, didn’t you?
– With the team, we are always thinking about what might please our customers in order to attract them. For such an event, we wanted to offer something that would allow everyone to find something of interest. This is why, in addition to the authors present, we offered activities for families. Thus, there was a makeup and coloring stand for children and a workshop to discover “magic potions” for young and old.
– I confirm that these stands were a huge success and I loved the “basilica venom” potion! On the other hand, I wasn't bold enough to taste the insects offered by the witch :). In addition to “thinking” about the event, there was a tremendous amount of communication work done beforehand, wasn’t there?
– It’s a first for us and I put a lot of pressure on myself to bring people so as not to disappoint the authors – many of them! – who have moved. The communications department was very supportive and we put together a series of posts before the event to get people excited. You and Charlotte Munich also contributed by winning one of your books to be picked up on site on the big day.
– It is clear that the whole team gave of themselves! Posters all over the city, at the entrance to the store, a broadcast on France Bleue Normandie radio and a relay on your social networks. Everything was done to make the atmosphere magical, right down to the disguised staff and the dragon hanging in the air! Everyone played the game.
– We can say today that it was a great success, not only in terms of traffic but also in terms of sales for the entire bookstore!
– There were indeed people there throughout the day and with all profiles. I saw people passing by for SF, for youth and fantasy in general. Having a “headliner” was a plus, it must also be said.
– Indeed, Erik L’Homme gave us the pleasure of coming and it was great. Many people also came for local authors that they follow with us and were thus able to discover others. This was really the aim of this event which is an illustration of my daily job: to promote books and make them discovered.
– It is certain that as a guest author, I felt the passion that drives you and was able to witness the appetite of loyal customers who came because they were convinced of the quality of what they would find! Although unknown to them, the visitors were open and curious and it was a real pleasure to interact with them. So I would conclude by thanking you once again for all this work – with a special mention to the whole team behind it and especially to Hervé who took great care of you all day – and wishing to do it again next year!
– I’ll get over this session first lol!
As you will have understood, organizing a show is a huge job and the team met this challenge brilliantly, whether in terms of logistics or communication. I'll let you discover the show in photos and can only encourage you to follow this top bookstore if you're in the area!