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Friday, April 4, 2008

Economical Book Promotion at Craft Shows

Craft shows can be a useful means of promotion for your books. However, they can be very expensive. One way to save money is to register early. Many shows have online promotional sites which allow you to register early, usually at a savings. Some shows sell out early, so contact them months in advance and they may offer discounts. Some offer discounts for last minute registration, but at that point there are limited spaces available.

Find The Best Book Promotional Opportunities

Many craft shows offer a variety of promotional options. They may offer electricity for your booth, table and chair rental, carpet and similar items. The prices rise as the show draws near. Early planning is a great way to save money and lessens the stress level as the show draws near.

How To Save Money While Promoting Your Book

Each writer that participates in the show will need to transport supplies and promotional items for the show. Show participants can save some money by bringing these items with them. It is more reasonable to carry the items with you than to ship them to the show. An eye catching display that can be assembled and disassembled easily makes a great impression and can save you money.

When you reserve a spot at any show, remember front and corner booths cost more money. These may not be the best locations for you. It’s worth your time, to contact businesses who displayed in the past to ask about the flow of traffic on the floor. It is even better if you have attended the show yourself to see which areas seem to have more traffic. This information is a great way to make the most of an appearance at the show.

Promotional Items For Your Book

Show attendees need promotional items for the people who wonder through the tables. These promotional items should have your author name, book title, website address and other identifying information. These items can include: pens, scratch pads, key chains, etc. Some other things you might give out include gum, miniature candy bars, chips and homemade cookies. One author I’ve seen at writer’s events offers cookies which are based on a recipe in her story. This is a great example of an item to hand out which ties in with the story.

In addition to the novelty promotional items, it is important to have handouts, brochures, business cards and samples. Simple and eye catching handouts can be made in any word processing program. It is easy to play with different fonts, font sizes and colors to grab the attention of people who approach your booth. Local office supply stores usually have good prices for large quantities of copies. Think about creating 2 handouts on a letter size sheet of paper and cutting them.

Sometimes desirable shows are farther away and you will need to stay in a hotel and eat out. There may be opportunities for discount rooms for show participants, but these need to be reserved early. Rooms can be shared if that is practical and appropriate. Another big travel expense is your meals. It’s good to set a food budget before you leave, or allow each person a certain amount of money for food.

These are some easy ways to save money when you participate in craft shows. When you travel to many shows, it becomes more critical to save money at each one. If the cost will be high, it’s important to evaluate whether the expensive is worth the exposure your books will receive.

Nikki Leigh
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series
www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm

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