Where Self-Publishers Meet Their Audience”
- Networking: Book fairs are the perfect venue to meet other authors and publishing experts. You can meet industry professionals whose services you might need in the future… or who can simply give you some advice. If you have time, book a meeting with an agent or editor, you don’t have to go back home necessarily with a signed contract, but meeting these people face-to-face if a great thing. If you can’t physically attend, but can showcase your title with one of the services I mentioned before, make you sure they will send you a list of people who have attended the show and have shown interest in your book. It’s still a great way to follow up with potential readers. Also, you can do some networking during show dates via Twitter or Facebook by actively participating in online conversations, making sure you mention that your books can be found at *insert booth number*.
- Gain exposure & get discovered. If you want to reach potential readers, then this is the place to do it. Most readers don’t necessarily remember the author, but they will remember a cover that really stands out. So it’s important for your book to be visible around the fair, so visitors who stop and look around to see what’s new in the publishing industry can easily find what books they will want to read in the future… some might even buy the book directly at the venue! Create some unique giveaways just for them, or special promotions so they will be encouraged to keep in touch with you (ie. subscribe to your mailing list, follow your author page, etc).
- Marketing. This is all about publicity. Marketing is the key to selling, but I’m sure you already know that. Everything you do at the show is directed towards marketing: hand out brochures or flyers, give out media kits to bloggers/agents/publishers, sell books (or give away some copies for free), whatever you do, it’s all marketing.. which in the long run will increase your sales and exposure.
- Sell rights. International book fairs are the perfect place to find agents looking for books to bring into new markets. If this is your intent, make sure that your author kit and marketing materials are translated at least in the fair’s local language (I’ve know about Italian authors who attended BEA with promotional materials only in Italian… needless to stay that was pretty pointless). So if your book is in English but you want to attend, let’s say, Bologna Children's Book Fair you should have your marketing material in Italian.. it really helps to stand out.
These high profile events are the most important marketplace to sell books, media, rights and licences worldwide… yet not many indie authors are represented. Don't miss the chance to attend these shows in 2016!