February 24, 2017

A Local Author Fair Experience

Writing a book was hard but promoting a book seems to be much harder. There are many ways  that you can spend money on various book promotional channels, however I would like to share with you a FREE way to get some publicity and potential book sales.
Recently I participated in a Local Author Fair that was sponsored by my public library. Over the last few years the Carmel Clay Public Library plans and sponsors a book fair for local authors. The origin of this program grew over time as requests from individual authors to host book launching events increased. Then someone at the library had the idea that wouldn't it be better to consolidate all of the local authors in one place, at one time and then publicize the event. Next came the issue of picking a good month to hold this event. The library chose December, which as we know, is a good time to sell books as a Christmas gift for that special book lover. Nice.

The Author Fair was held in a large community room that was close to the main library entrance. Each local author had a table, name tag, and two chairs provided by the library. The library also ran advertisements in the local paper in the weeks prior to the event. The cost to the authors for all of this, FREE! How cool is that. The mechanics of entering were pretty simple. The author had to fill out a library form that had the book title, genre, synopsis, and proof that you lived in the district that the library serves. You also had to provide the library with a copy of  your book for them  to review. The book would be returned at the book fair
The event I attended hosted approximately 30 local authors. The fair lasted for three hours. There was a good mix of fiction and non-fiction books being showcased by their authors. During the event a steady flow of library patrons and book customers roamed the room.  I would guess about 200 to 250 people attended with a bigger crowd earlier in the day. I autographed my first book at this fair! That was pretty cool. I also had a laptop which had a kindle version of my book displayed in case someone wanted to purchase a digital copy. Besides the customer interaction, it was really nice to meet and greet other local authors.

If your library has a new author program make sure to participate. If the library does not have one, I would suggest that you have a discussion with the library board about sponsoring a local author fair in your area.  Everybody wins from a local author fair. It was a win for the local authors who were able to meet book loving customers at the library. It was a win for the library patrons who were able to chat and purchase autographed copies of books.  Finally it was a win for the library by providing a great service to the community.

I can't wait until the next Local Author Book Fair.

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