Should You Participate In A Book Fair? Three Points To Consider

Should You Participate In A Book Fair? Three Points To Consider


Book fairs are allegedly great for networking, meeting readers, and yes, making money. Here are some things to consider before reserving a booth.

  1. Do I actually want to talk to people?

Nope. Writers generally tend to be an introverted bunch. Look at them sideways and they scamper away like a flock of rabid squirrels. The point of a book fair is to interact with people. Like, face to face. With you looking at them and them looking at you while you make talky-talk. If the person is a reader, they’ll probably ask you about your process or your book. If a writer, they’ll be chatting you up while another writer spikes your drink with laxatives. Because if you’re in the bathroom, more sales for them.

KIDDING. That’s way too interactive for writers. They’ll think about it, though, the passive aggressive little buggers.

Ideally, you’ll be chatting and smiling all day. Even if it’s slow, there’s always one annoying guy hanging around asking inane questions. Talk with him until someone else comes along. Then blow off the other writer and speak to the person who might buy something.

  1. Is it worth the money?

Maybe. The costs might eat up the profits. If you make $2 per paperback before shipping, you might spend $20 in gas and $35 on a booth, so you’d need to sell 50 books just to cover expenses. But I’m pretty sure that at most book fairs you’d do that, plus you’ll gain some fans, hopefully, and sell more books to them later as they recall the day they first laid eyes on their new favorite author. Then you wake up and the guy from the next table is still flapping his gums.

Also, have your laptop open and ready for shoppers to log in and snap up the eBook version.

(I hosted a virtual book signing once, for an eBook. The fans stayed home, I stayed home. Everybody was happy.)

  1. Am I okay to stand up all day?

What? Stand up all day? Yeah, princess. This is where the rubber meets the road. You’ll sell more if you do. Your body language will be more welcoming. You can drink away the sore feet later. The other authors will be sitting, not selling. Think about it.

Did I mention smile? That means be approachable and friendly. And more. Be prepared for sweaty people who have yet to discover deodorant. Or mouthwash. Assume nobody has washed their hands, ever. And remember, smile! Think about how they’ll be gone soon. And that the bar is right over there.

So is a book fair right for me?

After reading all this, you can still ask that? Then, no, it isn’t. Which is why you should go. You’ll be the only one there selling books and all the other authors will be jealous with envy. Just, you know, watch your drink around them.


Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

11 thoughts on “Should You Participate In A Book Fair? Three Points To Consider

  1. One way to be happy and actually enjoy the book fair is to go with low expectations of sales and focus more on meeting and networking different people. Always have your business card handy. You never know who might show up. I have never sold anything at a fair, but have enjoyed a couple of those that I attended and found them to be beneficial in the long run.

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