ReedPop hosted a virtual Read-a-Thon in April as part of its new Virtual Author Tour Series, raising $6,000 for the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign.

As the health crisis was escalating to a point where running this year’s BookExpo & BookCon was becoming less and less viable, the team decided to jump into the virtual space with both feet. They started small with a few low key events streamed to their Facebook page. Once they felt more comfortable, Content Director Matt Wasowski and Snr. Content Co-ordinator Andrew Esposito began reaching out to more and more publicists to offer the ‘Virtual Author Series’ as a way to connect authors with their fans.

“So many authors have had to cancel their book tours and we wanted to create space for these talented creators to engage with their readers. The fans loved the exclusive content that we were able to share with them” explains Jenny Martin, Director of the events.

Building on their initial success, Matt then came up with the idea of a Read-A-Thon – a marathon day of back-to-back readings from a diverse group of authors with the opportunity for their fans to ask them questions.

“We chose to work with BINC (Book Industry Charitable Foundation) for this event so that we could do our part to support independent bookstores. Independent booksellers are a core constituent of BookExpo and they are facing devastating challenges in the face of COVID-19. Throughout the 8 ½ hour event with 36 authors, we encouraged fans who could to donate to BINC’s cause, raising a total of $6,000 for the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign. I’m so proud of what my team has created in such a short amount of time to serve our publishing and book loving community.”

Fan engagement during this event was overwhelmingly positive. “Wow I’m already in love with this concept” and “They should host one of these at least once per quarter. Maybe every other month!” were among many supportive messages received.

Meanwhile, BookCon’s Virtual Author Series continues throughout April and into May. Check out the schedule here and discover some great new reads!