Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Craft Fairs

If you haven't already booked every weekend from Halloween to Christmas with craft fairs where you can set up a booth to sell your books, it isn't too late. There are six remaining weekends from this moment until Christmas, not counting the weekend of Christmas. I mean, who wants to spend their Christmas Eve in a middle school gymnasium or the basement of a church with every other vendor in the county, appealing to those last minute shoppers when you really need to be home wrapping your own last minute gifts?

Craft fairs are an excellent, and often inexpensive way, to get some visibility for you and your product. Here in rural Ohio, the average cost is around $25 for a 10x10 spot for a one day event. I can usually sell about a dozen books. Not bad considering the hundreds of flyers I pass out and the countless times I get to run through my sales pitch for whoever slows down and makes eye contact. Yes, by the end of the day, my face hurts from smiling and talking, but I love meeting readers and recruiting new ones.

People are still amazed and thrilled to meet a real live published author. It doesn't hurt if you live locally either. So if you haven't already done so, start perusing your local papers for craft bazaars and fairs within a fifty mile radius of home...farther, if you don't mind driving. Don't be afraid to check on the ones whose application deadlines have already passed. They are seldom so full they can't squeeze you in, be it hallway or janitor's closet.

Believe it or not, there are still book buyers out there who don't frequent libraries or bookstores. And what better gift for anyone on your list than an autographed book from a local author? At least that's what I tell the people who stop at my table. The most fun part of the day for me is hearing that the book I just autographed is destined to end up under someone's Christmas tree. What a kick to think someone is going to open my book on Christmas morning. I hope they love it.

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