I was a bit skeptical of the idea of selling books at art fairs even though the idea was mine. But, I have been willing to step out of the box in order to sell my novel, Out of the Shadows. As it turned out having a little booth at art fairs has been profitable, and I sell more books than I have at book signings at Barnes and Nobles or independent bookstores.
It does take a bit of time and work. Like all the other artisans, I am responsible for bringing my own table, props, and, of course, books. And yet, art fairs are great! Women, men and children are out for a day of fun, and looking to purchase specialty items where they can speak with the artist or, as in my case, the writer.
Some people walk by without giving me eye contact, making me feel uncomfortable. Then, a woman will stop, smile, and pick up a book. She’ll mention she is looking for the perfect gift for her best friend, and having an author signed book fits the bill. I also find that many people purchase books because they feel strongly about supporting the art of writing.
The day can be long, but so would a day working at a desk job or in a restaurant. It’s a time to talk about my writing, and to make contacts. Every book brings validation that I am a writer and the money helps me to continue with my writing.
There are often art fairs around the holidays and this offers an added marketing advantage. Author signed books make great gifts! Almost every town has some kind of artisan fair. Ask around, or research the Internet. They are easy to find. Another tip – You can always share a booth with a friend who makes jewelry or candles. You can promote her talents and she yours!
Kimberly Carlson has written over 20 articles for Enjoy Magazine, and has been published in The Sun and Hot Air Quarterly. Her novel, Out of the Shadows, won an IPPY Award for Best Fiction of the Pacific West.