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Friday, April 4, 2008

Promote Books at Craft Shows

Authors who sell books at craft shows need to maximize the promotional opportunity. They need to be congenial, perky and alert. Many people will pass your booth and you only have moments to catch their attention. If it is a large show, they probably won’t walk past your booth again, so be alert. To be energetic and alert, get sufficient sleep each night of the show. Conversing with the attendees can be exhausting, especially during a show that lasts several days.

How To Create A Booth That Promotes Your Books

It is important for authors to design a booth plan that is open and inviting. If you use an enclosed booth, stand in front of the booth or table. This allows you to communicate with people when they pass the booth. Busy shows offer the chance to talk with several people at one time.

Learn What Promotional Supplies You Need

This checklist includes basic supplies and promotional items that are needed for shows.

Basic Supplies –

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler and staples
  • Note Pads (good to have ones with your tagline and website address)
  • Book Supplies
  • Plenty of Business Cards and Card Holders
  • Pens and/or pencils and Pen Holder (use pens with your name and website)
  • Promotional Materials about your Books
  • Sample chapters or short stories would be great items for specific visitors.
  • Scrapbook with Book cover art, reviews, and any awards you have won.
  • Questionnaires for Potential Readers to Complete (details are listed below)
  • Information Packets (details are listed below)
Create Book Promotional Materials

Promotional items for a show should include brochures, handouts, sample pages and information packets for interested people who visit your booth. Pocket portfolios are great to hold brochures, handouts, business card and so on. This might include a pen and note pad for readers to make notes about your conversation. A nice promotional touch is to apply “crack and peel” stickers printed with your logo to the front of the folder.

People registered in the show should spend some time to wander the floor and meet other people, collect their business cards and pass out cards of their own. Make notes on the back of their cards with notes about them and their business. When you talk with people who approach your booth try to have them complete a specialized questionnaire. It is advantageous to make notes on these forms and specific information about these people.

These questionnaires can easily be designed on any word processing program. What are the top ten things you would like to ask each potential reader? These can be included on the questionnaire. The questions should relate to your books and will help determine if they are a potential reader.

After the event, follow up with the people you collected business cards from and the people who completed questionnaires. These people should be added to a mailing list which is used to promote your business. Craft shows can provide wonderful exposure for your books. This is especially true as your experience increases and the shows are handled in an effective and professional manner.

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

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