Q&A – “A conference organizer didn’t order my books on time!”

Q&A – “A conference organizer didn’t order my books on time!”

Q. – 

Hi Angela,

Several months ago, I was invited to speak at a conference in another state. They promised to buy copies of books from my publisher, and have them on hand for a book signing after my presentation.

On the day of my speech, it was determined that there were no books there for me to sign or sell. The conference organizer blamed my publisher but, on further investigation, it was discovered that the organizer didn’t place the order for the books until less than a week before the event.

I paid my own travel expenses and, while they paid me a modest speaking fee, it in no way came close to my travel expenses. I was counting on book sales to help with that and now I’m screwed.

I’m planning to do more speaking. How can I avoid this type of embarrassing and costly fiasco in the future?


A. –

I have seen this happen many times before. One conference organizer waited to order the presenter’s books until just a few days before the event, and then balked at the cost of rush printing and UPS Next Day Air shipping. Luckily, the author arrived with a box she’d purchased herself but she was furious.

My advice is to always carry plenty of your own copies on hand, which you should be able to purchase at your author discount from your publisher. Then, you can sell those directly to readers or to the conference folks. If the conference wants to purchase and resell them, you should DEFINITELY demand a check on the spot. If they can’t be trusted to buy inventory in time for an event, they can’t be trusted to pay their bills later. Selling directly to conference attendees is a safer alternative.

If you purchase copies yourself, at least then you’ll know the books will be on hand when you need them.

RELATED:

Marketing Your Book to Conference Attendees (when you’re not even there!)

Bathroom Pitches Are Bad! How To Make A Good Impression At A Writer’s Conference

Five Ways to Make (Not Spend!) Money at Conferences

What to Do When Your Book Event Organizer FAILS TO ORDER YOUR BOOKS!

Add to Your Income by Covering Conferences and Trade Shows

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About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

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