What to Do at A Book Festival

Book Festivals are one of my favorite places to promote books. When this is posted, I'll be manning my table at the Central Coast Book Festival. This is one of my favorites because a lot of people who love books and reading attend. Also the festival provides tables, chairs and umbrellas--so all the author needs to bring is their books any handouts and whatever decorations they plan for their booth.

This is what I need to be sure to take with me:

Books--of course--I'm taking all my latest.

Book stands.

Crime scene tape--always decorate my table with it.

Plastic bags for those who need one.

Cash box with change.

A guest book for people to sign and put their email address if they'd like to receive my newsletter.

A notebook to keep track of sales.

My business cards to give to people whether they buy a book or not.

My husband to help with the money part. (Always a good idea to have someone else along to take the money and make change so you can concentrate on talking to people and autographing books.)

A shawl in case it starts out cold in the a.m. On the coast the weather can be unpredictable.

Comfy shoes since you need to stand up to talk to people.

A smile and an upbeat attitude. Make sure to make eye contact with people and speak to them when they walk by.

Believe it or not, I've seen authors sitting at their table reading a book, or so engrossed in a conversation, they don't speak to people browsing through their books.

Save your long conversations for quiet spells or after the festival is over.

Stay until the end. If you don't, you may never be invited back again.

Have fun!


Monti said…
Thanks, Marilyn, for letting us know how you prepare for a book festival. Don't think we have as many in Virginia as you do in California. If I lived there, I think I'd like to follow your event path!

All the best,
Carolyn J. Rose said…
Thanks for the reminder about bringing someone along (friend, significant other, etc.). The support is great and, if you have to slip away to answer the call of nature, someone has your back.
Anne R. Allen said…
Excellent advice. Especially the part about not getting so engrossed in one conversation that you ignore possible customers. That happens too often.
Carol Denbow said…
Thanks for the tips Marilyn! One thing my "author friends" and I have done to attract new customers during the slow periods, is for one of us to pretend to be a customer interested in one of our books (thumbing through and such). It seems to attract more people to our table.

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