Play a bigger game with your book sales by expanding your audiences at local or nonlocal book fairs, festivals or trade shows. Can’t afford a booth or table, rent a space on someone else’s table and volunteer to be back for their book. In fact, rent a corner at various different tables in the same fair or show and triple your exposure.
The place on the net to go to find out what’s upcoming in your area, or an area you want to travel to, is at the Library of Congress’ website: http://www.loc.gov.loc/cfbook/bookfair.html. When you visit, the listings are in alphabetical order or by state. You will find shows for other countries, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. International events, including Canada, listings available. Travel for a month, write it off for your taxes, and include several different fairs and shows while you there.
Since I live in Virginia and travel frequently to Washington State, I plan my travel and schedule around these two areas to start.
Fall for the Book | Fairfax | Sept http://www.fallforthebook.org/
Hollins University Annual Literary Festival | Roanoke | Mar http://www.hollins.edu/news-events/litfest/litfest.htm
LAUGHS: Loudon’s Annual Unforgettable Gigantic Hilarious Storyfest http://www.laughsfestival.org/ | Sterling | June
Newport News Celebrates the Book | Newport News | Oct http://www.newport-news.va.us/library/
Virginia Book Festival http://www.vabook.org/ | Charlottsville | Mar
Virginia Storytelling Alliance Gathering | Glen Allen | Mar http://vasa.communitypoint.org/archives/events/vasa_gathering_2004_call.html
Bellingham Storytelling Festival | Bellingham | Nov http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~rvohs/storyfestival2001.html
Bumbershoot http://www.bumbershoot.org/ | Seattle | Sept
Forest Storytelling Festival | Port Angeles | Sept http://www.dancingleaves.com/storypeople/forestfestival/index.html
Northwest Bookfest | Seattle | Oct/Nov http://www.nwbookfest.org/
If you prefer to view the list by date, visit: http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/bkevents.html.
The National Book Festival, Washington DC, an extremely large event, held every October on The Mall. For more information: http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/natl.bk.fest.html.
Take a few minutes, visit the Library of Congress’ web site, and find the ones that fit into your schedule and location. Get bold and stand out, do book signings at Wine Festivals too (no matter what your topic).
You can even contact table renters in other locations and offer a commission for selling the books and you don’t even need to be there. Look for people with integrity and give them a complimentary copy of your book. Write a “dedication” to them in the front.
For other possibilities to expand your book sales, visit your local and state government web sites for events, libraries, school district events, business organizations, civic or private clubs, bookstores at museums (private or public). Also, consider the arts and craft festivals and fun fairs.
Nonfiction Author Natalie Goldberg used to write instant poetry at booths at New Mexico area carnivals – including the school carnivals.
If you are a technical writer look for Technology fairs and exhibits. Business Expos are the place to be if you are business writer. Are you a children’s author, ask to sell your books at Parent Day events at the local schools. Christmas shows are great for children books too. Did you write a historical book? Include all the history events on your tour for 2004.
Well, we shared some new places to find events to sell your books at in 2004. Don’t stop here, be creative, and try anything at least once, if it is financially conducive. Stretch your imagination and your opportunities and watch your book sales soar. Most important – have fun doing it. In addition, don’t forget to write a book about it!
(c) Copyright 2003, 2004, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.
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