Over the weekend I sold some of my books at a craft show. It’s not the typical place you see authors set up, and truth be told, some do well and some don’t. But if you decide to try selling your books at a craft show, what should you expect? How many books should you bring? Is it worth the booth rental fee?
Here are some things I’ve learned after a few years of doing craft shows (selling both books and crafts.)
- Do your research. Visiting a craft show during show hours or talking to current show vendors is a great way to get a feel for how the show works. You can see if other authors vendor there, see what a typical visitor count is, and whether the booth rental will be a good fit for you or your budget.
- Remember that not all shows are created equal. If you decide to vendor at a show, remember that it’s not a guarantee that you’ll sell well. I’ve been to some big shows where I only sold one book and small shows where I sold nearly my entire stock. Weather, other area events, and just plain luck factor in to show success as well, too. Some shows would be successful one year and disastrous the next, and vice versa. The point is don’t get discouraged- you never know when success will come your way.
- Use your time at shows to network. Meet potential readers. Gain a following. Make new friends with fellow authors and vendors. I’ve even gotten some speaking engagements booked from people I’ve met there. Craft shows are a great way to grow your brand.
Remember – craft shows aren’t for everyone. But if you’re up for the challenge, they’re a great way to increase sales and make your name a little more known, especially in your local area.
And a piece of advice – don’t forget to bring some spare cash, because chances are there’s going to be a few bake sales. 😉