Ten a Tips for Attending a Books Fairs

Many independent authors work book fairs and community events to get additional sales. But are these events worth doing?
Depends on your agenda.
If you are looking for extremely high volume sales, keep looking. If you are interested in seeing who else is out there, comparing notes, learning a bit, and actually meeting and speaking with real readers, these events are rich experiences.
Don’t get me wrong, some book fairs do result in satisfactory sales, but what they offer in hard truths and firsthand knowledge seem to always outperform sales.
I was at the Collingswood Book Fair this weekend, and despite foul weather, I learned a few valuable lessons:

1) First, readers there were looking for YA material. I have a series in the works; now I am inspired to move up its publishing timeline.
2) Sincere fun energy attracts customers (this CANNOT be faked). Work with friends if you can.
3) When customers sincerely want the book, and come back to the book, but are struggling with the price, be open to what it will take to make that sale.
4) Make sure you have time and table coverage to visit with other writers at other booths, and bring business cards to exchange. Networking is part of the value here.
5) Always, always, always treat the book fair runners warmly. These people do not work for you, they are working with you.
6) Have reasonable, or better still, conservative expectations regarding sales numbers for the day.
7) Remember to have fun. It was amazing to see how many booths were staffed by unhappy people. This drives potential customers away. Can anyone say vicious cycle?
8) Do not be afraid to say hi. Sometimes, breaking the ice is all it takes to make a sale.
9) Bring snacks, a sweater, comfortable shoes that will stay dry.
10) Be comfortable but professionally presentable.

I hope this helps Indy authors have positive book fair experiences.


Christopher Ryan is author of City of Woe, available on Kindle and Nook, and in print. For more info, click here.</em


About chrisryanwrites

My name is Christopher Ryan. I am a former award-winning journalist turned high school teacher, and I have written since reading S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS when I was in elementary school. I have independently published an award-winning debut novel, CITY OF WOE, plus the prequel short story collection CITY OF SIN, the sequel novel CITY OF PAIN, a high school thriller novel GENIUS HIGH, and several high adventure novelettes for the Rapid Reads series featuring Alex Simmons' African-American adventurer BLACKJACK All are available via amazon.com, as is my children's book, THE FERGUSON FILES - THE MYSTERY SPOT. Additionally, I was nominated for a supporting actor award for my work in the multiple award-winning independent film, CLANDESTINE, from Feenix Films. I blog about writing, life, pop culture, the journey of learning to promote my independently published work, my efforts to secure a traditional publishing contract, and my career as a teacher.
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