Christian Authors Network (CAN) took to the Town Center Stage twice at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) to present a Power Point talk on successful author in-store events and two drawings of books by CAN members that totaled more than $1,600 retail value. President Bonnie Calhoun and treasurer Karen Whiting gave tips for each slide on ideas to make an author’s presence at a store an event and to maximize the opportunity for interacting with customers. They also shared how pre-promotion, author displays, and follow-up photos of the event could be used with social media to engage the community. The presentation used photos from author events at retail stores across the country.

The first day when Kehinde (Candy) Abolarin of Christ We Bookstore in Ibadan, Nigeria, heard her name announced, she raced to the stage and shouted, “I won!” Her joy overflowed with a huge smile as she fought back tears and stood on the stage surrounded by CAN authors.

Susan and John Rheauno from The Christian Shop in Palatino, IL, won the second day. John said they almost left before the drawing because they never win anything and he’d planned to spend the time placing orders, but decided he’d have time to place orders later. John quickly checked around to find the best way to send the books back to the store and happily carried the winning tub away. Susan is considering ways to use the books won. She will probably use some as special giveaways and contests prizes, some as prizes for the summer reading program, and discount others to pass on the blessing of winning the books. She’s happy to discover that a number of CAN authors live close to the store and hopes to schedule events with them.

Each winner received books from more than 50 authors published by traditional CBA companies including Zondervan, Revell Books, Tyndale House Publishers, Abingdon Press, AMG Publishers, Legacy Press, New Hope Publishers, and Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Several other authors came up to share a little about their recent book titles. A number of retailers came forward after the presentation to ask questions about in-store and virtual author events.

Christian Authors Network was founded in 2005, and currently more than 100 multi-published CBA author members work together to help promote Christian books and support retailers. Visit CAN at www.christianauthorsnetwork.com.