Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Should You "Do" Book Fairs and Book Trade Shows?

My husband has a book published in China (Everything Asians Need to Know About America A to Z from Oriental Press).

He’s on a promotion roll and wants to know why I’m not placing my books in all the publishing industry’s tradeshows. I figured this is the season for book tradeshows and book fairs and wanted to address these opportunities in my newsletter, Sharing with Writers.

"There are lots of people who’ll display your book in their booth for a reasonable price," he tells me. He's been getting notices in his e-mail box!

Here’s my frugal answer. No price is reasonable if the odds are (big odds!) that nothing will happen. For something good to come from one of these shows, you’d better tag along with your book to pitch it and let ‘em see your smile.

I know this from the school of hard knocks. Here's the scenario. I sign my book up, make fliers to send with my book so they can put them on display. A few weeks later I get a list of publishers from them, publishers "interested" in my book. I am supposed to follow up with them. I contact them. They don't remember my book nor do they remember me nor are they interested.

Oops! My good promotion dollars down the drain. I can guarantee you, if I'd been there, my gleaning of contacts would have been more thorough and it is much more likely they would have remembered me.

PS: If you'd like to receive my newsletter full of advice, rants and tips send an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to HoJoNews (at) AOL (dot) com.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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