Pitching Events to the Raven
Thank you for your interest in partnering with the Raven Book Store for an event! Before you send us a pitch, please take a few minutes to learn about how we evaluate pitches. This will help you decide if the Raven serves as the best platform for your book and, if so, how to solidify your pitch in advance of reaching out to us.
About Raven Events
The Raven’s events season typically runs from late February through early November each year, and the vast majority of our programming is free and open to the public. Most importantly, the Raven Book Store is a community hub that aims to provide a safe haven for book lovers of all stripes. Our choices in the literature we provide as well as the events we host are made in an attempt to fill necessary niches in the pursuit of furthering education, enrichment, and justice at home and on a national scale. We want to support not only local individuals but the health of our local economy—and to have a really great time as we do it!
Here are some of the event types we’ve either hosted or collaborated on in the past: Traditional author-at-microphone readings, book launches, fun runs, panels, meet-and-greet/signing tables, political activism educational sessions, mushroom guide show-and-tells, and the list goes on and on. We love traditional author events as much as we love an innovative event, and we really love pitches with a direct Lawrence connection!
See this page for a list of our upcoming events—while we can occasionally host/participate in an offsite event and an in-store event on the same day, we will not host two in-store events on the same day. While this calendar gives you a good idea of what dates have been taken, it is not an accurate reflection of what dates are available.
A few more details to consider: We highly recommend customers and event attendees wear masks in-store. Please also note that, financially speaking, we cannot host events for self-published books or non-trade academic titles. We also will not host events for books published through Amazon or an associated entity due to our anti-Amazon stance.
How to Pitch Us
- The first thing (and one of the most important things) to consider when pitching us is to reach out well in advance of the date you hope to secure for your event! Our seasons fill up fast, and we have to plan ahead when we order books, schedule our staff, or if your event requires that we book alternative venues. While it’s never a bad idea to try your luck, your luck drastically improves if you’re reaching out at least two months in advance of your desired date.
- Include all information pertinent to your pitch such as the book title, the title’s date of release, details on the book’s distribution/availability, your dates of availability for an event, what event type you’re considering, and a link to your website if you have one.
- Give a brief explanation of your book or proposed event and tell us what excites you about the prospect of the event.
- Allow 1-2 business weeks for a response—especially if you’re reaching out during the holiday retail season!
Who to Send Your Pitch To
How We Evaluate Pitches (And Why We Can't Say "Yes" to Everything)
The Raven has a dedicated events team that includes booksellers, managers, owners, and store publicists. While you will communicate primarily with the Events Manager when you pitch an event, every pitch is evaluated by the full team.
Our curated events schedule is composed of events we expect to break even based on pricing, demand, and the book's built-in marketing potential. Because of this, we cannot accommodate all requests to host in-store events. To help you understand our position: Our author events have a very high overhead cost ranging from $300-400 (or more) depending on the type of event. This number comes from chair rentals, the increased staff cost of an event, lost floor selling time, and other employee labor (ordering and receiving books, event promotion, etc.) Depending on the discount we’re offered from your publisher, this means we need to sell around 30 books to break even. That’s not an insignificant number to push in a single night!
This all may sound intimidating—this is to not scare you away from reaching out, but to help you as an author trying to get your art into the world understand why we might say “no.” We want to be fairly confident that we will have a turnout that both returns our investment, while also making it worth your time as an author! If we’re not confident that we can make an event a “successful” one, we wind up in a situation that isn’t fun for either party. We do understand that not every event will be profitable and artistic value isn’t limited to numbers. At the same time, we still have to make the Cosmic Small Business Math add up at some point.