Last weekend, I had the honor to set-up, share, and run a booth at the Tucson Festival of Books with fellow apocalyptic author, Jay Falconer. This was my first book “fair” as both an attendee and an exhibitor, and boy did I choose a big one: 3rd largest in the United States!
When Jay asked me to join him in this many months ago, and I agreed, we started the planning early. We both agreed to go all in on this, with a significant investment of time and money to make sure it would stand out and be a success (i.e. sell a few books and meet lots of new potential readers).
To help our booth stand out, Jay purchased an alien from some FX company in Hollywood that builds these things for movies. I purchased a mannequin and modeled her after Lexi, one of my central characters in Highway. As you can see, she was the center of all attention:
After Sunday, my wife and I were so exhausted, we collapsed in bed when we were done putting everything away.
All-in-all, the Tucson Book Festival was a great experience: it was fun working with Jay and his wife, it was great meeting so many new readers, and how could you beat two beautiful sunny days in the 80’s, chatting it up with passionate book-readers.
Was it a success? Sure, in many ways, it was. However, at next year’s event, I might have to just attend (vs. running a booth) so that I can see all the other great booths out there.
Either way, I hope to see you there.
Hey authors, if you want some insight into the economics of running a book booth read, Picks & Shovels – My Observations on Selling at a Book Fair.
M.L. Banner…I’ve enjoyed your books. But I limit my reading to e-books.
Thanks for the kind comments Don! I’m a giant Kindle reader myself. But I do like the real think on my bookshelves. And it’s just darn hard to autograph an eBook (maybe some sort of digital ink?). Until I find a way, my Sharpie will be scribbling on the covers of some 200 books.