FESTIVALS AND FAIRS
A good place for authors to sell books?
Driving home from the Hayward Fall Festival yesterday, I began dwelling on the profit/ loss aspects of selling books at this type of event.
I set up a tent with two other authors for the one-day festival. Note that our sign should read, "Book Signing," but due the wind, that was the only way we could secure it!
The Festival drew a huge amount of people, and I sold about 16 books, which is the most I've ever sold at a festival or fair. I counted my money and thought, "Yes, I made a decent profit!" But I couldn't keep my mind from straying to what the drawbacks were despite the profits.
I've devised a list of considerations for anyone contemplating doing something similar:
1. You can never predict the weather! We were fortunate to have hit a pretty good weather day, but it's always possible to have your day totally ruined by extreme weather.
2. The amount of people attending can never be counted on! These things have less attendance every year. I believe there are just too many of them, as every community wants to get into the act .
3. It's a lot of work and time spent for the amount of profit made. It takes time to order books, pack everything, buy bookmarks, postcards, and on and on. I left home at seven, which meant getting up at 5:30. The day before was spent preparing. It was about a 75 minute drive each way, so gas is another cost item.
4. You need to buy a state seller's permit.
5. You have to pay for a space. Ours cost $90, and we split it three ways.
1. We all made a profit selling our books.
2. Many people, although not buying books, took cards.
3. Some of these will buy eBooks.
4. In general, events like this provide exposure for the authors.
5. It's always fun to get together with fellow authors.
In case you're wondering, in the above photo I'm the one on the right wearing my trademark black fedora, oblivious to the fact that with my sunglasses on, I'm a ringer for one of the Blues Brothers! We had a fun time at the festival, and met many interesting people.
I hope you all are enjoying the beautiful fall weather we've been having. The air has been cool and crisp here, the leaves just beginning to change.
Till next time, wishing you good health and good times,