Usually these are geared towards readers and encourage the purchase of books. Some are a few hours long while others span a three-day weekend. Be aware of the cost of a table or booth and if there will be travel expenses. Check past attendance and talk to authors/publishers who attended the previous year. A high-cost table coupled with hotel expenses will likely result in a financial loss - unless exposure is also a major goal of yours. They also provide a great opportunity to network with other authors/publishers.
These are often similar to book festivals, but some expos are geared toward the publishing industry and book buyers. (Think Book Expo where publishers give out hundreds of free books.) It might be a better opportunity for networking.
Writer Conferences and Conventions
Geared toward writers, these are rarely good opportunities for selling books unless your book is aimed specifically at writers and authors. It is a great opportunity for networking and learning, as there will be many panels and sessions during the event. There may even be publishers and agents on hand to take pitches.
Sci-fi and Comic Conventions
Geared toward fans of sci-fi, comic books, horror, etc., these are good for selling books in the sci-fi, fantasy, graphic novel, comic book, and horror genre. Again, check price of booth and past attendance. There are opportunities for networking, plus you can place ads in the program guide and offer giveaways for bags and auctions.
A trade show is geared toward one basic type of product - boat shows, car shows, etc. They attract an audience that is interested in purchasing that type of product or has one and is a big fan. If your book fits the subject matter and would be of interest to attendees, it might be a good opportunity. Again, check booth cost and previous year’s attendance.
Art Festivals & Fairs
These feature artistic and craft items, along with a ton of food and general vendors. Sometimes books are considered art and sometimes not. They are usually not the best place to sell books though. Research each one carefully before considering.
These tend to focus even more on food and general vendors. Only with a very specific and targeted book will you sell well if at all.
Know what type of convention or festival you are looking for and research carefully before plunking down money for a table or booth. And always go in with an open mind, a good attitude, and a willingness to network.
Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. will be at a sci-fi convention July 27-29 - Raleigh Supercon.
We’ve sent bookmarks for giveaway bags and books for auctions and door prizes and we’ve placed ads in program guides. But this will be the first time we’ve had a booth at a science fiction convention.
Attendance for this event was huge last year (its first one) and it came highly recommended by another author. Factor in the cost ($425 for the booth which includes two $75 3-day passes) and the fact it’s within driving distance every day, and we decided it was worth the investment to see what happens.
We also booked three other smaller shows - Cape Fear Comic Con in Wilmington, NC on Aug. 25, Fayetteville Comic Con on Oct. 20-21, and Fanta Sci in Raleigh, NC on Mar. 22-24, 2019.
We’ll be taking photos of cosplayers (holding our books of course) and posting them on Instagram all weekend. Follow us there for some fun photos from the event.
We also posted a pre-show video on Thursday night:
Of course, if you can, come see us this weekend, July 27-29, and register to win free books!