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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please join the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Guest Post: Book Sales Ideas from Book Fair Director

Organize Your Book Sales
Valerie Allen

Writing was on your mind. Publishing was on your mind. Now, you have your books, and selling is on your mind. What to do first? To maximize your sales opportunities get yourself, your books, and your displays organized. Start with these basics:

  • Dress the part. What message to you want to send to your reading public?
  • Formal – business attire, shirt and tie, high heels, three piece outfit?
  • Relaxed – slacks and dress shirt; dress, shirt/slacks and blouse?
  • Casual – jeans, T-shirt, button down; capris, shorts?
  • Dress in character – especially for children's authors, period novels, or historical manuscripts.
  • Be comfortable. Bring a seat cushion, a jacket, and a change of shoes.
  • Stand at your table or display area whenever possible.
  • Smile, greet others, make conversation, engage your readers,  have your blurb ready to discuss your books.

Your Books:
  • Autograph each book ahead of time.
  • Place two business cards in each, one as a bookmark, and one for the reader to give away.
  • Put a gold/silver sticker on the cover to indicate this is an autographed book.
  • Note on book cover any awards it has won with a sticker, or with a flier inside.
  • Put a label on one book as Display Copy Only.

Your Displays:
  • Place each of your Display Copy Only books on a small easel.
  • Put a price sticker on each display book. Note if this is special event price.
  • Place business cards in a holder on table in front of each book.
  • Keep a small stack of books on the table behind each Display Copy Only book easel.
  • Keep extra books protected in zip bags or plastic covers.
  • Use a table cloth.
  • Have handouts with your book titles, blurbs, awards, your contact information, and where you will be next.
  • Find items or music related to your book to attract people to our display.
  • Have a small candy dish with individually wrapped candy. (No chocolate!)
  • Make a book basket to give as a prize; collect name, email, and phone #.
  • Have pen and pad available. 
  • Have bowl to collect business cards for networking.
  • Collect email addresses and ask permission to email them information about your books.
  • Have supplies: pens, pencils, paper, markers, tape, tacks, rubber bands, and cash.

Valerie Allen is director of several book fairs in Brevard County, Florida. She is also a prolific author. Reach her at:

VAllenWriter@cs.com                                          ValerieAllenWriter.com
Her books are:  
 Beyond the Inkblots: Confusion to Harmony
Write Publish Sell!
Summer School for Smarties
Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends
The Prodigal Son
Amazing Grace
Sins of the Father
Suffer the Little Children
'Tis Herself: Short Story Collection, Vol 1


 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including 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. 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 .


  1. Those are good tips. Always stand and engage passerbys. Or go out and find them and hand people bookmarks.

    I learned really quick that the best candy was Tootsie Rolls. Cheap and people don't grab large amounts of them.

    Merry Christmas, Carolyn.

  2. Book fairs are a blast and I know for a fact that Valerie Allen knows her stuff. Thanks for the tips.

  3. Thanks ladies for your kind words Sharing wth writers is what it's all about. Networking is the best form of marketing ~

  4. Terrific tips! I love the idea of a gift basket to entice people to sign up for a mailing list, and a bowl to collect business cards for networking. I'm new at this, but I'm astonished at how some authors don't socialize with others at book fairs. There's always something to learn! Thank you!


Thank you for commenting on posts at #SharingwithWriters blog, a Writers Digest 101 Best Websites pick at
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www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a free review site will benefit your book or increase your reading pleasure.