Happy Tuesday Lovelies,
The past few days have been a whirlwind of amazement. I finally participated in my very first Street Festival to promote Claiming Jeremiah. I figured it was in my area and the vendor table was inexpensive, so why not! Once, I arrived my anxiety immediately went into overdrive. The constant feeling of being ill-prepared showed his ugly face. My palms grew sweaty. My heart raced. I waited for people to continuously walk past my small table, because I didn’t have any flashy over-the-top marketing. It was just me and the book that I had poured my heart and soul, sweat and tears into.
After my first two or three supporters approached and purchased a book, I was hooked. My life flashed before me and how much I was born to do this really hit home. The plan was to stay a few hours and
then walk around the festival and support other vendors. However, I never got the chance. I was glued to my table, signing books, networking and meeting the most awesome people (now fans :).
Two hours into the event and endless networking connections later, I could have literally kicked myself for missing all the other festivals this summer. I let myself be my biggest road block. All summer long, I felt I needed more books or marketing material, before I could be worthy to set up an author table. WRONG! Do not listen to yourself if you are having the same thoughts. You only need your determination, book and yourself to sell it. After all, no one can sell your story like you can. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have family and friends helping to spread the word and bring people to your table. 🙂
Here are a few tips for setting up your vendor table:
- Furniture – Most events will set you up with a table and two chairs, however, if they don’t, bring your own small folding table with two to three chairs (depending on your team size).
- Decorations – Investment in a table-cloth. Nothing too busy or bright, but something that matches or blends in with your book cover. Consider adding a small centerpiece that you can re-use at each event to bring spice to the table.
- Tabletop Display – Purchase a book display stand for your book. If you only have one title, consider purchasing two stands and displaying a copy of your novel on each side of the table. In the center between the books, have a stack of postcards, book marks and other promotional items. If your business card has your personal number on them, considering only giving those out for network opportunities. You do not want everyone to have a direct way to reach you by phone.
- Poster Board – If you are working with a low-budget and cannot afford the larger marketing items such as tents or branded table clothes. Consider investing in a poster board. Keep it simple with the cover of your book. Check out staples for printing. They normally start at $39.99. Purchase a folding easel stand from your local Office Depot or dollar store.
- Giveaway – This is important. Consider investing in one or two giveaway items to attract customers to your table. Make your item unique and perhaps something to do with your book, yet inexpensive. You can even consider doing one big item and hosting a raffle. Customers can place their name and phone number in a bowl and you choose the winner at the end of event.
- Smile – Always wear a smile when greeting your customers. This makes them feel welcomed.
- If you have to bring your own furniture, make sure it folds down. This will save you a lot of time and hassle.
- Great giveaways items are: candy, pens, water (branded with your book information), mugs, or amazon gift card (raffle).
- If you are sitting down at the event, always stand up when a potential customer approaches. This makes him/her feels as if they have your full attention.
- Be prepared to stand a lot, greet and shake a lot of hands and answer a lot of questions related to yourself and book.