- A reader brought me coconut cookies as a gift *cries for joy*
- A reader brought me 2 (two!) hand made CDs with pictures of nature he had taken
- Several readers wanted to take a picture with me *blush*
- A reader asked me to marry him (his wife laughed)
- I handed out ALL OF MY BUSINESS CARDS (I had brought 200!)
- A reader bought book 1 on Saturday, read it overnight, and came back on Sunday to buy book 2 <3
SO…What to bring:
- Your books! How many? Of course it depends on foot traffic. Unless you are JK Rowling, assuming that your book looks awesome and you do a terrific job, you might hope to sell to 1% of the crowd. So if 5,000 people are expected hope to sell 50 books (bring 100 just in case)
- Your wholesale tax ID. This is an authorization from the state to collect sales tax. I will write a separate post about this (what it is and how to get one).
- Your square or equivalent. You need to be able to take credit cards! Make sure that your account is set up and ready to go. Be prepared for a no wi-fi situation. When that happens, I run the square off my phone on the 4G network. There is also an off-line mode, but I never used it
- Lots of change. I went to the bank on my first book fair and got lots of change (coins, several singles -at least a $20 worth, but $40 is better, a few $5, $10)
- Typically tables and chairs are provided, but make sure to investigate
- Pens to sign your books! (More than one, they tend to die at topical moments like book signings)
- Your business cards! This is essential. Most people who have not heard of you before will not impulse-buy your book. A well designed business card (see how here) will allow them to check your book out later, read the reviews, and order it from amazon if they so choose
- A neutral tablecloth (or one that will go well with your books)
- Signage! Most readers are shy, introverted creatures just like yourself. Unless they know and love you already they will be reluctant to approach your desk. Make it easy for them to see what your books are about from far! I made signs with key-words (Italy, love, laugh, swoon) reflecting the style of the books. I also have banners that I used for the book launch events. I ordered them at vispronet.com and I love them.
- Have a sale! I really appreciate readers who took the time to come check my booth out! I always offer some sort of sale (Book 1 and 2 were 20% off if bought together). Prices are clearly indicated and visible from afar.
- Have an easily accessible cash box
- Candy (Why not?) maybe even following the theme of your books
- A sign-in sheet where people can add their e-mail to keep in touch with you
- Any future release to show off (with the release date) (Readers started reading it at the fair, lol, PREORDER HERE!!!!!)
- I always bring a couple of cute markers, stencils, paper, and scissors to make last minute signs (like the “Coming May 1st” sign on Forget Nico)
- A small sign summarizing reviews (show off how many reviews you have on Amazon). It is really difficult to collect a good number of Amazon reviews, most readers will tell you they loved the book but will not write a review. So, if you have 10 or more, show them off! (I am very proud of my 20 reviews, lol! For a book released on November 1st it’s really awesome!) And if you are a reader, please take a minute to write a short review! Amazon promotes books that have at least 50 reviews!)
- The reviews, printed out. I have a small folder with all the reviews from Amazon, so readers can take a look and see what people had to say
- I ended up adding a sign (you can kind of see it in the candy bowl on the right in the pic below) saying that they are also available as e-books and audiobooks because so many people asked
I have a small pyramid of books per type (one for book 1 and one for book 2). On each I lean the book so that I can show off the front cover. I also leave one book down to show the back cover to invite readers o check the blurb out. I also have the books all together, sideways, to show off the spines (I LOVE THEM!!!!!)
Remember that most people are wary of being approached by a salesperson. You are NOT a salesperson, you are an author, and you are offering little pieces of your soul to interested, sensible parties.
- Call out at people
- Sit staring at passersby like a hawk
- Be rude or snappy
- Never pressure someone into buying your books
- If readers engage I love talking to them and answering their questionsIf it’s a dull moment and no one is talking to me I READ MY KINDLE. Yes, you heard. I don’t pressure people into stopping by, I don’t stare, I don’t yell.
- If someone walks closer I might make eye-contact and smile. If they say hi I say hi back.
- If they stop to check out the book I say something like: “It’s a series of book taking place in Italy” if they step back I stop talking. If they smile and nod I continue with: “It follows the same characters throughout their life searching for happiness, but each book is self standing. The one you’re holding is the first one, it talks about growing up in Italy, friends, adventure…kinda like the Goonies, but in Italy. The second one is about first love and kisses, and the third one is about teen angst, but it’s also a love story.”
- If they make to walk away I suggest they take a business card and check it out later.
- If they are interested I mention the sale
See you at the next fair!
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