Selling Books at Book Fairs Etc. by Marilyn Meredith

Last weekend I was in Manteca at the Great Valley Bookfest, along with many, many other writers.
Yes, I did sell books, more than any of those who were sitting around me. 

When you are an author at one of these events, you can't stay seated the entire time. When I was younger, I stayed on my feet. I can't do that anymore, but when people are coming near, I'm up, making eye contact and smiling. 

This time, I had printed sheet listing all the books in my two series, and other books I've published, so I had something to offer for anyone interested. When I got home I received an email from someone who came to buy my latest book and when she read the list she discovered she was missing a book and ordered it--and a friend of hers ordered another. 

Many took my business cards with my book covers on them that were available on my display. I've had business cards for each of my books. 

Another tip is not to be too aggressive. A man across the way practically accosted passersby, not a good practice. Yes, I did see him sell two books, but I had the feeling the two buyers did it to get away from him. 

One thing I've noticed is you can never tell who will buy a book and who will not. In my case, I had two fans who came to the event to see me and buy my latest books. And yes, I'd sent out notices on Facebook I'd be at the event--and the information was also in my latest newsletter.

I realize that many writers are a bit on the shy side--many of us dislike the sales aspect of this business--but it is necessary if you want to sell books. 

Going to book and craft fairs are just one way to reach new readers. Hope this little bit of advice will help.

Marilyn


 This was a library event, and I was listening to a question.

A long ago event--and no I'm not standing, but I di when my photo wasn't being taken.

Comments

Marja said…
Good advice, Marilyn. I do the same thing at book events and it's worked pretty well for me. Thank you for sharing your advice.
Jackie Houchin said…
I agree with Marja. Good advice, Marilyn. I plan to send the link to this on a few FB writing pages.
Amy Reade said…
I think your advice to stand up is great. I have an event tomorrow and I plan to spend most of the day on my feet. I was at an event a couple weekends ago where one of the authors was aggressive to the point of being upsetting. She told me about each and every one of her books in grim detail after asking (and not waiting for my answer, which would have been "no") if I liked fantasy and urban steampunk. I couldn't wait to get away from her. Sometimes authors need to realize that people may want to read the backs of books in peace, without a lot of commentary. I usually engage people if I see a sign that they're ready for me to talk to them.
Yes, Amy, you are right. Plus if someone tells you the whole plot of the book, why bother to buy it?

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