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Finding the Perfect Event
Craft shows, book events, conferences, farmer’s markets and or speaking engagements can be challenging. Perhaps the most challenging part is figuring out which ones to participate in and which ones to walk away from. Before you make your decision there are a number of questions that you need to consider in order to find the perfect event for you. 

First of all, how do you find an event? Searching Facebook might be your first step. You can poll your friends on FB, asking them if they know of upcoming events where you can market your books. Their suggestions are not automatic locations for you to go to so you’ll need to do your homework. For instance, someone tells you to go to a craft show in a town fifty miles from you. What should you consider and search out once you know the name and location of the event?

Do they have a website? If so, go to the website and read about them. How long have they been doing this? What is the past history? Are there reviews? Who wrote the reviews? Were they participants passing through or were they vendors? You want reviews from vendors. See if you can contact some of the vendors to find out what their experience was. Their experiences, good or bad, will give you more specific information than a friend who just went looking or shopping there.

Be careful of shams! Yes, there are shams in this arena as in everything else. Caveat emptor! Let the Buyer Beware! Never, never go into any of the alleged fairs, festivals, craft shows, etc. without thoroughly checking them out. 

Other questions you should ask are: What are the fees involved for booth rental. How big is a booth? What comes with the booth? Tables? Chairs? Electricity? Drapes, tablecloths, backdrops? Is this an indoors or outdoors event? If indoors, is there heating or air-conditioning? If outdoors, is there a canopy or any type of cover and what about inclement weather? Will the event be cancelled or moved inside? If is outdoors, will restrooms be available or is it a hold it for the day? What about parking? Is there parking for vendors or do you have to park at a distance from the location? When do you check in? When can you set up and shut down? What advertising is being done to promote the event? Can you have a presence in the advertising or is it one for all? When do you have to sign up for the event? 
When you are asking questions about the event, you need to write down whom you are talking with, date and time of the conversation and any confirmation numbers they give you plus their answers to your questions. Make a list and check it twice! You may be excited about the event but you need to be prudent in doing due diligence. 

Another thing to find out is where your booth will be situated from the entrance doors, the restrooms, the food courts. Will there be food courts? Think about events you’ve gone to as a shopper and try to remember what was great and what was not-so-great. What experience do you want your potential customers to have?

If it is a craft show, will people want to buy books? That depends on the time of year. If you have a really great book - particularly a children’s book – then close to Christmas (even in July) could be the greatest time for you. Maybe the same with a cookbook. Close to Mother’s Day or Father’s Day? Then maybe your book will make a good gift – but maybe not. Again, do your research. There are many resources online – use them – don’t cut yourself short on the research because it may cost you a lot of money in the long run.

You are a businessperson now so you need to treat these events as an extension of your business. Be professional but don’t be a stick in the mud!

Remember, we are here to help you and we make publishing easy!

About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge

Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.
40 Day Media LLC, PO Box 950794, Oklahoma City, OK 73195
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