From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Events & Festival Tips

Book festivals are nothing new for me, but I have to admit it's been a while. The Vegas Valley Book Festival was my first book event since baby #2 came along. He was awesome and stuck with me through the whole thing. The VVBF was also the first festival for **Acorn Publishing!

**For those who don't know, Acorn Publishing is a small imprint I am a part of that was created by a group of authors. Find out more HERE.

First of all, it was SO much fun. I always have a ton of anxiety when it comes to events, but ultimately I always end up doing really well and having a great time.

This time around I had my friend/writing buddy/publishing partner, Holly Kammier, with me which made it even more awesome. It was Holly's first book festival. She just released her debut novel, KINGSTON COURT, on September 10th. I loved seeing her beautiful book displayed on our table, but those lonely books made me realize something. You can't go to a book festival with your books alone. You need things. Paper things. And pens. A strategy. Little tricks to get a reader hooked. I'm going to share with you all of my book festival wisdom. So here it goes:


[ ] Books
[ ] Snacks/Lunch
[ ] Towel (in case you need to clean the table off)
[ ] Bottled Water
[ ] Poster & Stand
*It's nice to have something large and professional looking to display the cover of your book.
[ ] Credit card machine
*This is a MUST. You can get those little card swipers for your phone. I'd say 90% of people pay with card. It is expected.
[ ] Tape
*Helps secure things in the wind.
[ ] Sunscreen
[ ] Author Signing poster
*Nobody knows you're the author of the books in front of you unless a) you tell them or b) you have a little sign that says "author signing" with your picture.
[ ] Rolling cart/dolly to transport books
[ ] Book marks
*This is also a MUST. See notes below.
[ ] Business cards
[ ] Giveaway item (rubber bracelets, buttons, pens, etc.)
[ ] Money bag to conceal your cash
[ ] Change 1s 5s 10s
[ ] Pens
[ ] Phone charger
[ ] Sellers permit
[ ] Bags for customers
[ ] Table cloth
[ ] Book Display Holders
[ ] Pricing Sign
[ ] Battery Powered Fan


1) My first tip is to have bookmarks. Many people think this is a waste of paper because so many get thrown away, but trust me, you can't skip this one. First of all, it gives you a way to get people's attention. As attendees walk by you can say, "Hey, do you want a bookmark?" A lot of them will take it and move on, but that's okay. They'll glance at it as they walk, taking in the little blurb you have right below the gorgeous cover. Many of them come back. 

If they don't come back, that's okay too!! They might take it home with them and it will be a little reminder to get the e-book.

Here's mine, front and back:

The other awesome thing about offering a bookmark is that it gets people to come over to your table. Once potential buyers are there you hit them with my next trick:

2) Hand them the book and say, "Here. Read the back. You might like it." I don't know who told me this, but it works. Once someone has your book in their hand it is much harder to put it back on the table and walk away. A part of them feels invested. They've touched it and something in them wants it more.

3) Stand up and smile at everyone. Sitting behind your table on your phone is one way to make sure you don't sell any books. Be approachable and cheery so people feel like stopping by to chat.

4) Have business cards ready. You'd be surprised how many movie producers hang out at these things. I'll never forget meeting Don Murphy (Producer of Transformers and Vampire Academy) at WonderCon and NOT having a business card. I had to write my name on a piece of scratch paper. It was so embarrassing. I don't know, maybe that helped, lol, because he did end up reading both of my books :) In any case, you'll meet lots of awesome new contacts, and it's important you have your information on a professional looking card.

I'm sure there are more, but as this post is getting rather long, I'll leave it at that.

OH...and next on Acorn Publishing's list of events: WonderCon in March, LA Times Festival in April, and (fingers crossed) the Bay Area Book Festival in June. Can't wait!!

Anyone else have any book festival tips or tricks??

1 comment:

  1. That's cool it was so successful and the first one for your press. I have both bookmarks and postcards, and yeah, you need those.