My first Book Expo
Where to start? Technically my first expo was a few months ago (July 2016) to be exact. I never bothered sharing that experience, because--
a) It wasn’t a book expo/fair so my book sales were dismal
b) It was a horrendous day for reasons I won’t post and
c) It was a glorious sunny day the whole day until I had to pack everything into my car to head to the expo and then it decided to rain down in buckets—that added to the already horrible day.
Awful, just awful…I no longer have a relaxer, so my pretty curls were ruined; it was also hot and humid.
The only plus—it was a first-time experience getting in front of people with my books and figuring out what works and what doesn’t work at a vendor fair.
Detroit Book City Expo 2017
What an amazing experience and it totally made up for the fiasco which was last year. Unlike the previous one, I only had about 2 weeks to plan. The reason I got in so late was because someone cancelled.
I ordered my books, bookmarks, stickers and prayed that they would come in time (they did)
See pictures below
I purchased candy (chocolates) and everything else needed for such an event. Side note-I think for my next expo/fair I won’t do chocolate. I find most adults pass on the candy, but of course children eye the tasty goodness with the eyes of a hawk.
One of the authors I met at the expo said she’d done hand sanitizers one year and they went over very well. That’s the good thing about these events, you get to meet great people, slyly get pointers and possibly connect for later projects.
The event—I got there early with my friend, Dora who helped. She was very helpful and gave me moral support. I laid out my books, etc. and watched the parade of people pass through. I got more sales than I anticipated and got some sign-ups for my email list. Pluses all around.
One bonus I didn’t expect was #Jesse Jackson showed up. He of course was immediately swarmed by people and left almost as soon as he stepped foot into the venue. I managed to get a picture, blurry, but a picture none-the-less. And it was neat to see him in person.
What I did right—bookmarks, postcards, 11x17 size posters of my books. Greeted the readers with a smile and engaged them in conversation-not in a pushy, sale-sy kind of way—just a little schmoozing.
What I did wrong—though wrong is subjective.
I’m pretty content with how everything turned out. However, I saw another author taking pictures with everyone who purchased a book from her. That’s smart, something to post on your website or Facebook page with their permission of course.
Not having enough change. Customers only wanted to give $20 bills. Next time I will have all singles. I could have lost a couple of customers who only had larger bills. Thankfully, Dora was there and bailed me out twice. She had the presence of mind to have singles.
I didn’t have a large banner. That will be my first priority for my next showing.
I had bags, but next time—some bags with my logo with a handle. Some people were struggling to find places to put their purchases.
Blurry picture of Jesse Jackson