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Angela M. Odom

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After Action Review for Angela’s Literary Lounge Book Selling Opportunity


According to Peter Drucker,  the man who is often credited with inventing modern business management writing 39 books on the subject.

One of my favorite business quotes is "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."

We know it's nearly impossible to know whether you've met your weight loss goal without first getting on the scale and pulling out a measuring tape.  This allows you to acknowledge your phases of improvement.

This is a follow up segment to my 01.15.2019 article titled, "10 Things to Consider When Showing Up for a Booked Event. Read it HERE.

Prior to driving to Jacksonville, Florida from Georgia last week, I thought through the 10 things I should consider in order to be successful at this book selling event.

BACKGROUND:  I was invited to serve as a Featured Author in the Literary Lounge at a conference sponsored by the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.,'s Statewide conference. The conference attendees were members who resided in the State of Florida and in The Bahamas.  

As a member of this community service organization, I was fortunate to be listed in the Delta Author on Tour Directory for 2018 - 2019.  The conference organizers invited authors from the directory to share their book at the conference.

This is my attempt to share my lessons learned with you so that you may achieve success in this area. An After Action Review allows one person or a group of people to determine best practices and acknowledge lessons learned after an exercise or event has ended. 

As stated in the 01.15.2019 article, the list of things to take into consideration are not in order of priority nor is this an exhaustive list of every single concept or relevant topic.  


1. Why were you invited?

Consideration #1: Focus on bringing value for the reason you were invited to participate. In order words stay in your lane. Ensure you are familiar with the overall mission and objective of the event. Determine where you fit and then show up and show out

AAR #1:  All of the authors were clearly focused on sharing their story professionally. 

2. Before, During, and After Tasks

Consideration #2: Take some time to document relevant tasks that you must accomplish in three different phases: Before the event occurs, During the event, and After the event ends.

AAR #2: 

Before Tasks: 

  • Travel Related Tasks
  • Lodging Related Tasks
  • Food Related Tasks
  • Contact Friends In the Area
  • Coordinate with a GOALS Friend to work at the table with you
  • Prep for Book Related Items & Table Set
  • Respond to any inquiries from the event organizers

During Tasks: 

  • Arrive early to set up
  • Focus on sharing the Bronco Book Story
  • Share contact details
  • Remain present at the table throughout the event
  • Take Photos; ask permission to share on social media
  • Engage with the other authors and event organizers

After Tasks: 

  • Unpack the car
  • Prepare for the next event
  • Send Thank You Notes
  • Tag others in social media photos

3. Timeliness

Consideration #3: Show up early. If you show up on time, then you are late.  When the event organizer request documents or information, provide them in the format and timeline requested. 

AAR #3:  I was on time for everything scheduled. I did come danger close to missing a photo opportunity. I made it just in time.  I learned to stay focused on the mission at hand. 

4. Your Platform

Consideration #4: Google Yourself and Your Brand. Review and update your social media sites because that's exactly what the attendees and organizers of the event will do. Because you don't really know the reach of the marketing materials or the word of mouth of the participants, you should ensure your social media sites represent you very well. 

AAR #4:  I can do better. I googled my name and my brand.  Some of my sites have inconsistent messages.  

5. Electronic Press Kit

Consideration #5: The first step is to put together a professional, complete press kit, now-a-days called an EPK. People will most likely not take extra steps to find information, it should be easy to use, and easy to send. A webpage on your website, which allows you to simply send a link to convey the information is the easiest to put together.  Or make a word document with everything in it.

Include the following as a minimum: 

  • A well written bio
  • Photos 
    • Include at least two, be sure they are hi-res and downloadable.  Your face should be clearly seen, and expresses your personality and music, and is of good quality.  Color is best.
  • Audio/Video
    • Links (Be sure the quality of the recording puts your music in a good light!)
  • Press Clippings/Quotes
  • One Sheet
    • This should be like a mini EPK that has a photo, quotes, blurb about you or your band.
  • Press Release(s)
  • Postcards & Promotional items 
    • Stickers, posters, etc. 

AAR #5:  I can definitely do better. 

6. Establish Open Communication with the Event Representative.

Consideration #6: You’re building your reputation with the entire organization

AAR #6:  

I can do better.  What did the event coordinator request from me?

  • Prior to the event coordinator asked me to send my bio three separate times
  • Head-shot – requested once
  • Book Cover – requested once

7. Nail Down Your Elevator Pitch.

Consideration #7: If you’re starting a business, or even thinking about starting one, one of the first things you’ll need to do is nail down is your elevator pitch. This is a two-three minute summary of your business (or business idea) that tells your audience what problem you’re going to solve. You’ll want to distill your concept down to just two to three sentences that are easy for anyone—be it a customer, a potential employee, or an investor—to understand. A great elevator pitch will make them understand the value of and need for your business instantly.

Be prepared to answer the questions

a. Who you are?

b. What do you do?

c. What value do you bring?

d. Who do you serve?

AAR #7: Based on the feedback from the other authors, the people in attendance, the event organizers, and my GOALS friend; my elevator pitch was effective

8. Attire

Consideration #8: Be sure to wear the appropriate clothes for the event.

AAR #8: I nailed it. 

9. You’re On An Interview for Your Next Gig.

Consideration #9:  Conduct Yourself in a Manner in Which They will Invite You Back

AAR #9: I nailed it.

10. Be Kind and Bring Value

Consideration #10:  Every time you contact someone new to book you or your band, you are developing a new RELATIONSHIP; they may say no now, but it can always turn into a yes somewhere down the road.  Anyone you meet now may be someone you work with in the future (it’s happened to me many times!).  

Always conduct yourself in a professional manner:  be on time, courteous, respectful, prepared, and just be nice! 

AAR #10: I nailed it!


I'm rooting for you,


Learn how to work with me HERE

P.S. I shared the Bronco Strong story at the Florida and The Bahamas State Cluster. This is a military memoir written eight years after my third combat deployment, when I served as the Battalion Commander for the 15th Personnel Services Battalion in Iraq.  You can purchase the book on Amazon. 



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