Should I Pay Money to Display My Book at Book Fairs?

Should I Pay Money to Display My Book at Book Fairs?

My POD publisher keeps hounding me to pay them money to display my book at book fairs, for a fee of course. Do authors ever sell lots of books at those things?

Based on complaints I’ve received over the years, authors rarely earn back the fees they pay to have their book displayed at book fairs. Think about it – books fairs feature dozens to hundreds of tables with books, books and more books. It’s very difficult to make your book stand out among the rest unless, of course, your name is Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Sadly, depending on the event, there may be more book sellers in attendance than buyers.

The only people who usually make money at book fairs are the fair organizers, the companies re-selling table space at the events (i.e. your POD publisher), and any celebrity authors who might appear.

Events featuring numerous publishers and printers don’t really cater to book buyers. They target publishers, authors, and others who serve the industry. Most of those businesses are trying to sell books, or services that result in finished books. If most of the people in attendance want to sell books, not buy them, how can you believe the “attendance” numbers provided by the organizers when they are asking you to pay to be displayed? If almost everyone around you at a conference wants to sell a book, not buy one, those “attendance” numbers mean nothing.

We never participate in those “fairs”, “conferences” or “expos” because it’s pretty silly to pay lots of money just so you can tout your wares to your competitors. Marketing directly to book lovers online, using a step-by-step plan, can be far more effective.



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