Bisky's Twitterling's Scribbles! discussion

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Community/Brainstorming/Problems > Book signings and farmer's markets

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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Moore (kevmoorewrites) | 63 comments Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone has much experience with book signings, book fairs, conventions, etc? I'm finally getting some of my books done in print via Createspace and I've been thinking about trying to peddle my wares ye olde fashioned way. Does anyone have any experience going to books fairs or conventions? Or trying to set up book signings? Is it helpful? Is there anything I should know before getting into this new venue?

Specifically, my town has a weekly farmer's market where probably half the vendors sell crafty items rather than produce. I was thinking about renting a booth and seeing if I could sell some books. I looked into it a little bit and saw the Chamber of Commerce needs like a $25 booth fee, I'd need to get a vendor's license and liability insurance, so I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle. One of my titles, a longer short story really, has local appeal because it's about the war hero the town is named after. Anyway, just curious about your guys' thoughts! Thanks for all your support. This group is great!


message 2: by Bisky (last edited Aug 01, 2014 12:28AM) (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
That's something I'd really love to do eventually. I know someone who helps out with an anime convention here every once a year so I was considerin ggoing there and sitting on one of the huge window sills in the building with a stack of books to see if anyone would be interested. There were a few people selling home made stuff there last time so I hope there wouldn't be any insurance or anything I needed to buy xD Book fairs might be a bit harder since I'm not in an English speaking country. I'd do it in London but I have a feeling anything like that will be super expensive to rent a stall :x

I don't think I'd make much money but I'm sure it's be fun :]

(P.s I'm bumping this up to community :3)


message 3: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood (tonythorogood) Insurance? the insurance is public liability and is for people selling food and drink in case they poison someone, I don't think you are selling edible books, so you should pay very little, in case someone trips over your stall, or no insurance. I have sold apple wine at a farmers market believe me it can be very boring. But selling books at a book fair it could be great fun but not neccesarily lucrative.


message 4: by Shannon (last edited Aug 01, 2014 05:22AM) (new)

Shannon Pemrick I think it's worth a shot! You can go once and if you don't make back the fee plus some, then you know it might not be worth it. In our field, we have to do what my childhood teacher Miss Frizzle always said... Take chances; make mistakes and get messy (Oh goodness the memories) . I know that reference is a bit cheese but really, you never know what will and won't work until you try.


message 5: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Moore (kevmoorewrites) | 63 comments Shannon wrote: "I think it's worth a shot! You can go once and if you don't make back the fee plus some, then you know it might not be worth it. In our field, we have to do what my childhood teacher Miss Frizzle a..."

Oh Miss Frizzle! Wow that was a blast from the past!! :)

Bisky wrote: "That's something I'd really love to do eventually. I know someone who helps out with an anime convention here every once a year so I was considerin ggoing there and sitting on one of the huge windo..."

Hey, thanks Bisky! Btw, I did not know you were overseas. How fun!


message 6: by Steven (new)

Steven McKay (stevenamckay) I was lucky enough to be invited to the London Book Fair this year by Amazon to be part of their stand and talk about my experiences with KDP/Createspace and ACX.
To be honest, I didn't sell many books off the back of it and that's one of the biggest book fairs in the WORLD! It got me some contacts and was an amazing experience since AMazon paid for the hotel for the week and took me out for dinner and things like that, but in terms of book sales....
For self-published authors like us, I think paper books are a tiny fraction of our sales so, although it's fun to sign copies for people and talk about the writing process face-to-face I don't think it sells many books.


message 7: by Steven (new)

Steven McKay (stevenamckay) My friend's mum works in a local library and she said I could do a book signing event. My idea - since I'm also a musician - is to do it along with me and my bandmates playing some music to break things up and make it interesting.
Whether I'll ever get around to doing it is another matter!


message 8: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Pemrick Steven wrote: "For self-published authors like us, I think paper books are a tiny fraction of our sales so, although it's fun to sign copies for people and talk about the writing process face-to-face I don't think it sells many books. "

I'm going to disagree with you there. I've sold more hard copies than I have ebooks and other indie authors I have regular contact with are the same. Personally, I think it depends on the way you market and who happens to be interested.

Here in the US only about 40% of the population has an e-reader/tablet. That's 60% that still read physical copies. That's a large part of the market that drives physical copy sales and the need for book signings. Not all book signings will work well. Some will suck when it comes to sales and some will be great.


message 9: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Cullum | 12 comments I'm going to put some books through the Createspace option, but how do you get copies to sell at markets etc. can you purchase your own books in bulk? I'd like to know. Appreciate any response.


message 10: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood (tonythorogood) Createspace gives you the option to buy your own books at a good discount and yes you can actually make money selling physical copies I have from time to time sold quite a few.


message 11: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Lawson | 91 comments I think it's worth a shot. I've never done a signing, but people are always happy when I do a giveaway for signed paperbacks and I do sell some signed copies on my website.

I have a tablet to read ebooks on, but i'm still a total book nerd and I like to hold my books. My signed ones are like personal treasures. I'm sure there are plenty of other book nerds like me. I go to the farmer's market all of the time. If an author was selling signed books, I would buy one even if I'd never heard of them before. Heck, I'd buy two and may my sister's day too.


message 12: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Cullum | 12 comments Anthony wrote: "Createspace gives you the option to buy your own books at a good discount and yes you can actually make money selling physical copies I have from time to time sold quite a few."

That's great, even more determined use Createspace now. Once a book is uploaded, how long before it is available?


message 13: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Lawson | 91 comments It takes less than 24 hours for them them to approve your proof. Then you can view the proof digitally, or order paper copies before hitting publish. Once you hit publish, you can order your book copies that day.

They are really variable on shipping. I've had large order show up within 5 days. I've had them take more than 2 weeks. They offer expedited shipping.


message 14: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Cullum | 12 comments Cassandra wrote: "It takes less than 24 hours for them them to approve your proof. Then you can view the proof digitally, or order paper copies before hitting publish. Once you hit publish, you can order your book c..."

Thanks for that. That is pretty quick. One more ask - for Createspace, do I have to put page numbers in my book, which have to be removed for E-book uploads?


message 15: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Lawson | 91 comments Yes, but you can get the template for the size you are using. It is formatted different than Kindle.


message 16: by William (new)

William Stuart (thegemstonechronicles) | 32 comments I have done 2 signings at a local Barnes and noble and have sold about 10 books at each event. not a lot, but it was a lot of fun. I attended a book festival earlier this year (and sold less there than at the B&N events) and will be doing a literary festival next March. I go for the exposure and for the fun!


message 17: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Moore (kevmoorewrites) | 63 comments Trevor wrote: "I'm going to put some books through the Createspace option, but how do you get copies to sell at markets etc. can you purchase your own books in bulk? I'd like to know. Appreciate any response."

Trevor, it's called Owner Orders. My book (based on its length) is only $2.15 per copy. Longer books will cost a little more. Createspace does kind of get you on the shipping. $3 base plus $0.60-$0.40 per copy depending on the quantity. But still, if you figure out your profit, it's a darn good royalty


message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Moore (kevmoorewrites) | 63 comments William wrote: "I have done 2 signings at a local Barnes and noble and have sold about 10 books at each event. not a lot, but it was a lot of fun. I attended a book festival earlier this year (and sold less there ..."

Do you feel that the in-person events did help you gain exposure? I think that is worth just as much as the actual book sales at the stage I'm at.


message 19: by William (new)

William Stuart (thegemstonechronicles) | 32 comments Kevin, I think it did. I went to the Dahlonega, GA literary festival and that led to my invitation to the Augusta Literary Festival. On Friday, I got an invite to the Lakeland, FL Book Fair, and I was asked by a former HS teacher to come visit my old HS and do a talk and a book event there. So, yes, the exposure is worth it to me. I would also check with local Indie bookstores and see if they will do an event.


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