Festivals, fairs, and conferences – oh my!

This year is quickly heading toward a close and naturally, we begin thinking of the coming new year. Next year, 2013, I will have one, maybe two, could be three who knows! books to promote. So I’ve started looking at the annual book festivals and conferences I’d like to attend so I can properly budget for them.

Book festivals and fairs close to home cost little money but the payoff can be enormous. As a writer, it gives you the opportunity to sell a couple books but more importantly, it gives readers the opportunity to meet you and get to know you a little as a person. You’re not just a Facebook Author Page anymore, or a tweeter, or even a blogger. You’re a living breathing person readers can relate to.

In the year 2012, an estimated 150 THOUSAND people attended the Library of Congress’s Annual National Book Festival. That’s a bunch of people. 75 thousand is the average attendance at the Decatur Book Festival in neighbor state Georgia.  Further up north, 45 thousand readers and 250 authors attend the annual Brooklyn Book Festival. The lists goes on with similar numbers.

photo by Petr Kratochvil

As a writer, if you’re planning on “doing” a couple festivals next year a writer friend, Mary L. Ball (http://marylouwrites.weebly.com/) offers this advice. After attending a festival last summer promoting her book Escape to Big Fork Lake, Mary said she could have sold 100 books – if she had a debit card reader. No one carries cash anymore. Invest in a debit card reader. The most popular one right now is the Square. Look into it. I certainly am.

For readers and writers:

  • What do you look for in a festival? Do you have a favorite?
  • How far would you travel to attend?
  • For readers – how do you normally pay? Would a portable debit card reader entice you to purchase a book when you otherwise may not have?

Happy festivaling!

3 Comments

  1. Now I am ready to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming over again to read more news.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Waverly. And for the info on PayPal…I did not know that!

  3. I go to my local book festival (Northwest Bookfest) and next year I’m planning to go to the closest Booksellers Association conference. As for card readers, I have been happy as a customer with how Square works but Paypal just started offering a similar service and since I already have a Paypal account, I’m going with them for my own sales.

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