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Mastering the Art of Book Festivals and Crafts Fairs
Author U -- Judith Briles Author U -- Judith Briles
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Denver, CO
Wednesday, May 29, 2024


The Authors’ Guide to Mastering the Art of Book Festivals and Crafts Fairs

No matter where you live … when the weather officially turns to sunshine, craft fairs multiple along with book festivals. Are you ready? Do you know that you can sell caseloads of books and build new fans? What’s and author to do if there is a Book Festival or Crafts circuit in the midst? To master the crowds and create sales?

Most likely, lots … start with where some might be (don’t forget to Google your own state in a search):

Now, start noodling … what will make your table, your set-up, and YOU shine at a gathering. Some are just a day—some a three-day weekend.

Here are 28 things for you to have in your booth:

  1. Your Book(s) This may sound obvious, but you need books to sell. If possible, find out how many people are expected to attend—I estimate one to three percent could be buyers at these events—the larger it is, the less the amount. Personally, I would have at least a few cases.
  2. Signing Pens – hat’s your color? Have plenty with you.  
  3. Posters – These can draw the attention of potential buyers from across the room. Make sure you get 16×20 or larger, so they are easier to see from a distance. Consider creating a five or six-foot vertical banner. I use Signworld US, Inc. 909-393-1333 or email signworld.usa@gmail.com
  4. PricesMake sure you create signs — not large for the price of your book(s).
  5. Credit Card Sign Make sure you have somewhere visible on your table that you take credit cards and which ones.
  6. Square or other Credit Card Process Gadget – You will need to process credit card payments—swipe via your smart phone or tablet.
  7. Poster Frames – If you buy a decent frame, it should last you a while, and you can use it for multiple events. Make sure you bring Windex and paper towels to keep the glass clean.
  8. Display Tripod – If you have posters, you’ll need a way to display them. Having tripods is a great idea because you can adjust the height and they come with awesome carrying cases. You can have one that is small and sits on the table (or have two—they are handy) or one that is like a flip chart stand.
  9. Book Stands – A book stand is a great way to display your books and ensure that they don’t keep falling over. People like to touch, and rarely put the books back correctly. These are absolute musts—have several for display purposes.
  10. Table Banner – Having a table banner can attract a lot of attention from a distance. Just make sure that your banner isn’t too big for your table or it will droop and look unprofessional. Your book cover or graphics designer can help create one—think about having the headline read: Meet Author ____________.
  11. Bookmarks – Think ongoing marketing—bookmarks are awesome and cheap free giveaways. They also help make your table look more full and they can be used over and over again. Don’t forget to include your website, email, and where to buy your book.
  12. Request Book Reviews – Yes, do! Insert within each book a slip of paper requesting that the buyer posts a REVIEW on Amazon and Goodreads. Create a customized link to each page via Bit.ly or TinyUrl.com
  13. Cart or Wagon – You are lugging books and “stuff”—you need wheels to help you and your back. I recently saw a lightweight, yet good size, wagon at Costco for under $50. Don’t miss on this—it’s a big yes from me.
  14. Tablet and/or Mobile – If you really want to draw the crowd’s attention, putting a slideshow on a tablet can be a great hook. Go ahead—run your trailer over and over. Plus, you can process credit cards here or on your mobile—hmm, maybe you need two tablets. And, on your “spare” you can add to your email list with names inserted.
  15. Bags—you can use the plastic ones that multiply after grocery shopping OR … why not just buy some in your preferred color. Being able to give a buyer his or her book in a clean bag is a nice perk to add. Trust me—they will be grateful. Tip—if you see someone with a bunch of books—offer one of our bags to help them out—gets them to stop at your table and you just might buy one of yours as well.
  16. Power Source & Plug – Don’t expect easy access to electricity. You may need it. Having your own power source can be a game changer, especially if no one else has one—I’ve found that when I have a multi-plug back up, I have new friends—as “back-up” to watch my table if I need to find the ladies’ room. Ask what the Fair provides.
  17. Business Cards – These are essential at pretty much any event. Business cards are a great way to let people know how to get in touch with you. Please make sure your website, email, contact info is included.
  18. Flyers / Brochures – If you have upcoming events or just want to share excerpts from your books, flyers are a great way to do both. If your event is not ongoing, make sure you don’t order too many or you’ll be stuck with lots of unusable flyers. It’s also suggested that you do a small order at first to see how people respond. If they don’t like them, change them, and try again until you find a design that is more effective.
  19. Awning or Tent if Outdoors – Make sure you know if what’s provided or you need to bring your own—sometimes a colorful outdoor umbrella works well—makes you different; adds a little festive touch—but it’s hauling it—remember that you need wheels to carry some of your items to your locations.
  20. Table Cloths – A must-have (at least two)—brand it with your colors—you may even want to have a sign made to display across the front so others can see what your book(s) are displayed with your name. Signworld USA can help here— table clothes hide stuff.
  21. Tape – Bring a reel of clear shipping tape. It’s a godsend.
  22. Comfy Chair – Another must is a comfortable chair or two. If the event provides, they are using leftovers from somewhere—not sturdy.
  23. Shower Curtain – It rains or may be windy. A transparent shower curtain could save your table and books.
  24. Bungee Cords and a few Weights – If there is wind, these will come in handy. Plus, you may need to hold down your signs and awning. – These are perfect for holding down your canopy and signs.
  25. Trash Bags – bring several—they are handy.
  26. Gather Names and emails – don’t skip out on this. Create a sheet of paper with your name, image, book image(s) on the top. Three columns – Name, eMail, Mobile #. Most will freely give their email. Now, follow up with a thank you post the event via email.
  27. Ask for Reviews – Slip an ASK into each book that sells that THANKS them, and ASK to post a review to your Amazon.com page, BN.com, even Goodreads. I include an image of the book cover and a shortened link to whatever page I’m asking them to post to.
  28. Don’t forget pets – Many attend with their four-legged friends. Why not have a water bowl at the side of your table. Maybe a few small dog biscuits—do ask the owner if you can give their pooch one.

Note: Make sure you keep your table cleaned up and spiffy looking. Don’t load it up with food you are eating.

I have a few clients who focus only on Crafts Fairs, Art Festivals, and Book Festivals. Concentrating on book sales during the Spring and Summer months—every weekend is out and about. Cookbooks do very well—one sold over 10,000 in three years offering samplings of appetizers within its pages–one bite and another book was sold! So do Children’s books. Books that attract women are always a hit.

And don’t forget … take pictures and post on your website and social media. Good Luck and HAVE FUN!

Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. Often, she must roll up her writing sleeves and become a Book Doctor, juicing up storylines and author words. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 45 books amd 56 book awards, including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book PlatformsSnappy Sassy Salty: Success for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a Million Dollar Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon and her historical fiction debut The Secret Journey and The Secret Hamlet. Collectively, her books have earned over 50 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences. 

Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged in-person and online experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensives limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE. The AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Marketing podcast is ranked in the TOP 10 podcasts for book marketing by Mashable and Feedspot.

Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorYOU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her.

©2024 Judith Briles – The Book Shepherd™ All Rights Reserved

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John Posner

Calling Balticon 58 Attendees in Baltimore, Maryland

May 20, 2024, Baltimore, MD.  Bestselling sci-fi/fantasy author John Posner will be meeting fans and signing books at the 58th Balticon gathering this week. Held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, located at 2020 E Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 from May 24 to 27. 

Posner is the author of Forever is Too Long. Setting the stage for 400 years in the future ... a future where human minds can be perfectly copied to live out a forever existence in the multiverse and become Mindars in the new digital world. Fans discover what happens when Humans crossover and become digital entities. They learn what happens when social boundaries are shattered. And what happens when the Unintended Consequences of technology occur.

Visitors are encouraged to immerse themselves in a discussion of what future technology could do to us. Posner asks, “What would you do to save the world? What would you do if you could live forever … or is forever too long?”

His forthcoming book, He Died Two Days Ago, will be released in June 2024. When assassins mistakenly shoot the wrong person, an alien race that secretly inhabits living beings of other planets across the universe is revealed. Unbeknownst to their hosts, the aliens feed off the emotions of the enti­ties they reside within. Come explore Battleground Earth and alien possession.

At the event, Posner will be selling and signing his current book, Forever is Too Long that was released last year and quickly earned bestseller status on Amazon. They will have the opportunity to sign up for his new book.

John Posner is an IT project manager and technology writer creating Sci-Fi/Fantasy Psycho Thrillers exploring the unintended consequences that humans and technology cause. Discover his website: JohnPosnerBooks.com.

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