Hi, everyone! I just finished my fed taxes. What I discovered, after adding up all my costs, was that, though I sold a fair number of books, I lost money doing craft shows. Seems like attendance is way down from ten years ago: Perhaps everyone is just doing their browsing online now? Though it was fun meeting people face-to-face and building rapport, the costs of purchasing booth/table space was just too high. I am rethinking my marketing strategy for 2008. Anyone have better experiences? Or similar? Thanks!

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I never thought of trying to sell books at a craft fair. I guess it is because I am thinking CRAFTS :) and my books are not crafty. Er... I mean... well, you get what I'm saying !
I've talked to a couple of local venues that hold craft fairs and had to explain that I created the book - and so they would classify it as being suitable for a craft fair. I have no problem explaining that any books, fiction, non fiction etc should be accepted into a craft fair. The cost of the booth is what stopped me - they wanted $75 and I had no idea how many books I would sell. Its a shame craft fair venues can't pro-rate the booth fee based on what is being sold :)

I actually included a few sections in my new author promotion book to craft shows - how to use the shows, how to prepare for the show, ways to save money etc. But, the cost is a prime factor to consider and now the price of gas is becoming a bigger concern each day.

Nikki Leigh
www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm
Dawn:

Are there any vendors that sell a variety of books at the craft shows you go to? I'm hooked up with such a vendor in the Los Angeles area. I just go and sign for a couple of hours. That way I don't have to pay the show entry fee. But then I'm published with a traditional publisher, so I don't directly get money anyway.

You might want to team up with other authors that publish similiar books. That way you guys can defray your costs. People are always attracted to more books vs. less. Just an idea.
That is something to consider, Naomi. Thank you.
Sounds familiar. The last bookfair I participated in, the book store owners walked into the room and made a beeline to the name authors signing free copies of their novels at the center booths, raised above all of the other tables. Very few of the owners bothered to survey the dealer booths on the floor. I also noticed that many of the book agents attending the show had little enthusiasm for their product, as if jaded by attending too many shows. Which was not helpful to the publishers they were working for and paying for their product/booth in the show. The publisher's group is now planning to have just one show, instead of two, a year.

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