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Using Book Fairs to Market Your Book

  
  
  
  
  
  

Author Name: Jay Thomas Willis

Book Title(s): Implications For Effective Psychotherapy With African-Americans; As Soon as the Weather Breaks; The Cotton is High; Born to be Destroyed; Paranoid but not Stupid; Why Black Americans Behave as They Do; Hard Luck; When the Village Idiot Get Started; Educated Misunderstanding; The Devil in Angelica.

Marketing Subject:  Marketing Through Book Fairs

An excellent way to market your book is through book fairs. The major benefits are increasing your exposure and name recognition. These fairs range from small to grand in scope. The writer must sell his book directly to customers through this approach, unlike some other approaches where the author remains virtually anonymous. The biggest problem is waiting on customers to approach your booth, while sitting for long periods of time.

Authors are able to rent space at these fairs. The general public usually attends these events to find out about new books. The scope of this public can be national, local, or international. Some of these events feature books from all genres and subject categories, while others focus on a niche market.

book fairs

There are listings on the Internet of the various national, international, state-wide, and local book fairs. At local shows you may sell copies of your book; at national shows you may take orders; and at international shows, you may be able to interest a publisher in foreign rights. Each fair has a particular audience and a particular focus, so you should be certain to choose one whose theme and purpose connect with your book.

Contact the organization by phone or through their Web site. The agreement usually specifies the terms and conditions. Once you have decided upon a fair at which you want to display your book, you need to make arrangements to rent a table or booth, create a display, and get promotional material to pass out; ship the display and copies of your book to the show, arrive in time to set up the table or booth, and make arrangements to have yourself or someone else there at all times to answer questions from interested parties.

Selling books means more than just showing up, standing behind your table, and waiting for people to buy. It’s necessary to be proactive, friendly, and stand out from the crowd. Be aggressive but try not to turn people off.

To maximize your sales you need to: (1). Make your booth look inviting. Buy a nice table cloth that goes well with the cover of your book. Turn your book cover into a poster, and mount on a poster. All your signs should be professionally designed and printed. (2). Offer something tangible like tea, coffee, cookies, etc. Once people have eaten your food they feel obligated to look at your book. (3). Stack your books on the table, and use a book stand to keep your book at eye level and in plain view. If your book looks uninviting, it’s unlikely you’re going to find buyers. (4). Stand up and ask engaging questions. (5). Put on a nice outfit so you can look your best. (6) If you do the above, you will be ready to make the sell.

A comprehensive and well thought out book promotion plan should include displaying your book at book fairs. Book fairs are organized by associations and organizations that want to bring attention to and promote the reading and purchasing of books, in particular by attracting interested people in a position to purchase and distribute books and book rights. Book fairs usually provide a good atmosphere in which to sell your books. This environment is totally devoted to books.

 

Comments

OK, Jay, I want to see stats on how many books are sold at such fairs (I'm talking about authors not published by the big five). Even if I could sit around waiting for one or two nibbles, I'd much rather be writing. Maybe niche fairs where a non-fiction book fits in are different, but fiction books seem more difficult. Besides, you're usually charged for that table. I've heard that there are co-op efforts that maybe will work more for fiction which may make more sense--you can always go out afterwards and over beers talk about how badly your team played (your book team, not the NY Giants).
Posted @ Friday, January 07, 2011 10:22 AM by Steven M Moore
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