Monday, October 26, 2015

Listing Blogfest

To celebrate 8 years of blogging by Bish Denham, Bish and Alex are hosting the Listing Fest!

The rules are: 
Sign up, grab the banner and make a list. 
Keep your list to between 5 and 25 items. You can list whatever you feel like (except for adult type content.) 


Book Fair Smarts That Go Beyond the Elevator Pitch

(Or, Lessons I Re-Learned Just Last Saturday)

1. Come prepared with everything you need: books, bookmarks, square reader, change, eye-catcher/poster, business cards, giveaways (candy, short story on one page, writing prompts, buttons), and a light snack (or lunch, depending on the time).

2. Follow all the rules, sign-in procedures, etc.

3. Smile. Be positive. Make the best of whatever table you've been assigned.

4. Walk around and meet your fellow authors. 

5. Love on your fellow authors - compliment them on their book covers, book blurbs, or their set-up. 

6. Give yourself a book budget to spend before the event and buy at least one book from a fellow author. (Maybe two, especially if someone looks like they've had the toughest day ever.)

7. Walk around the room a second time and/or third time. 

8. Make the book fair rock with conversation. This is a good attention draw for readers who might be scared to approach authors sitting by themselves at their tables. Plus, it helps everyone's nerves. 

9. Help other authors sell their books. If another author gets up to walk around and someone approaches their table, give them a smiling welcome for that other author and even a little blurb of their book (this actually will help your sales, too). 

10. If you are approached by a writer who hasn't been published yet and they want to tell you about their writing, listen and ask questions. Encourage them and don't hard sell your book. (The more you converse about how much you both love writing, the more likely they will pick up your book. Writers are often readers.)

11. Say thank you to the host of the event at least three times: upon arrival, on leave-taking, and after the event via mail or e-mail. (You can also add in a fourth or fifth time, if the host walks around the book fair and takes pictures.)


Bonus(sorry, more paragraph than list):
Something I learned at last weekend's event
A university bookstore offered to carry author books for the event - meaning that they would take care of the cashier/check-out details. I worried that as an indie author that I might look bad for not using this service. 

It turned out that the bookstore check-out area was in a different room at the event. Most authors carrying books through them didn't have more than one sample book at their tables. These authors sold zero books because the customers had to meet the author in one room, go to another room to buy the book, and then return to the author room to have their book signed. Customers didn't make that journey.

The most experienced author in the room had books with the university bookstore and books at his table. He hand-sold books from his table but also told customers about the bookstore. He writes full time, has books through a large publishing house, books through a small press, and books that he's self-published. He knew all the angles. (I took notes.)



Sorry, I never quite finished this post and I haven't been around for comments today - had a busy day with an afternoon of exhaustion and a headache that can only be described as "my brain hurts." I'll make the rounds in the next few days.



32 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bummer the book sales were in a different room. Good thing you didn't go that route.
Great list of tips for events!
Thanks for participating in the blog hop.

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm pleased to report that on my two book fair experiences, that I managed to do most of the things on this list. I've never had an eyecatching poster-type thing.

Great list, great tips.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Great tips, Tyrean! I especially like the one about saying "thank you" more than once. That's good advice for life general. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Your tips are perfect. Get up and mingle. Network with others. You never know where a connection might lead you.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

All good tip, but the last one in paragraph form is really good to know. I like the idea of buying from an author who looks like they've had a particularly hard day.

Maria Zannini said...

Great tips. I especially like being a good Samaritan and helping out fellow authors.

L.G. Smith said...

I love when writers are good to each other. Great list. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you learned from the book fair event. And thanks for the tips on being involved in one.

Juneta Key said...

What a interesting and informative list, Loved it,
Juneta Writer's Gambit

Chrys Fey said...

That's a great list! I'm going to remember this for when I go to my first book fair. Thanks!

Sarah Foster said...

Great tips! I'll have to remember this if I ever get to be at a book fair :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That sounds like a bad setup. Every book event is a little different and you have to be prepared for everything. I learn something at each one.
Susan Says

Arlee Bird said...

A lot of wisdom shared in this post. This is very useful.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

randi lee said...

I really love your list, Tyrean--it's so super helpful and I'll be bookmarking this post :D

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Love your list, especially #6. And don't forget to take photos!

Yvonne

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Thanks for the wonderful list! Very helpful! I need to work on the walking around and conversing part.

Yolanda Renee said...

Great tips! Oh yes, have books at the table. I ran into that at my first conference too. Be prepared for anything, and smile!

Spacerguy said...

Awesome list, we're lucky to have each other for encouragement and so much more.

Michelle Wallace said...

Great tips!
Encouragement amongst writers is important. It's good to reach out and network... a way of 'killing two birds with one stone'.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Handy list for us writers! I always remember the authors who have been supportive and encouraging.

Denise Covey said...

What an informative list for writers selling their books! That university bookstore cache was a bit of a problem.

Katharina Gerlach said...

I'm just learning about book fairs. So this was a timely post for me.

Cynthia said...

I agree that it's best when authors don't hard sell at events. I've bought books from an author just based on this person being a nice person to talk to.

Nick Wilford said...

Hope you're feeling better! What a great list of tips, especially about helping out other authors. What goes around comes around.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've done that, too, so I try to remember it when I'm the author at the event. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Nick! I am feeling a bit better today.

Meradeth Houston said...

Hope you are feeling better! Great list and very helpful for when I work up the nerve to do this!

Bish Denham said...

Thanks for listing with me, Tyrean! Oh that I should get myself to a book fair! If I do, I will remember your most excellent suggestions.

I do hope that you are feeling better by now.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Bish! I am. :)

Guilie Castillo said...

This is a brilliant list, Tyrean—and, for me, super timely (I might be doing my first book fair early next year). Hope you had good sales, and thanks for sharing your knowledge :)
Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

Toinette Thomas said...

I like this list. It seems simple, but it the simple things we need to be reminded of and they often make a big difference. Glad you went a different route on book sales.