Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Exhibits, A Potential Source of Sales by A. R. Silverberry

Book fairs are a potentially lucrative source of sales that are neglected by many indie authors. They don’t have to be! If you’ve got a physical book, book exhibits are a huge source of potential book sales. Book exhibits serve libraries and booksellers, and are regional, national, and international. Let’s start with libraries. With over 117,000 public, school, and college libraries in the United States, libraries are estimated to be a five-billion-dollar market. But you can tap the international market, too. You’re probably asking, “How do I do that? I can’t possibly visit all of them.” Right, you can’t. But what you can do is show your books at library shows.

These shows take place at regional, State, and national conventions. The national conventions have huge foot traffic, affording your book visibility. Libraries specializing in a specific niche are likely to send representatives seeking books in that niche, a boon to you if your book fits the bill. The regional and State shows have less attendees, but those who do attend are usually the acquisition librarians, who have the authority to make purchases. Regional and State shows include the California Library Association, Michigan Reading Association, and the Pennsylvania School Library Association, to name a few. National shows are the American Association of School Librarians, the American Library Association, the Public Library Association, and the National Education Association.

Book Expo America (BEA) is one of the biggest book shows in the world, and now it is open not only to the trade but to readers. But don’t stop there. Your books can be seen around the world, including at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the London Book Fair, and the Beijing International Book Fair. For children’s writers, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is a must. Agents and publishers seeking international rights possibilities flock there. Imagine your book translated into other languages for people to enjoy!

How do you do all this? First, you need a physical book. Second, start your own publishing company (mine is Tree Tunnel Press). That sounds like a big deal, but to date, my fantasy novel, Wyndano’s Cloak, is the only thing I’ve published. You will need that publishing company to give your book credibility to potential buyers. Third, you can go directly to some of these shows if you want, but you don’t have to! Aside from travel expenses, doing your own vendor table is expensive. The alternative? I sent Wyndano’s Cloak to over twenty-five shows through a company called the Combined Book Exhibit. They will work with you, even if you only have one title. For a reasonable rate, they will ship your book to the show and display it. Many small, midsized, and large publishers use their service, though of course, the largest publishers will also have their own displays at these events.

I believe that for indie authors, library shows work best for nonfiction, niche, and specialty items. I think you can sell fiction at book shows if it stands out in some way. For example, if you’ve written a story that serves a particular group or need, such as a book for children with dyslexia or a medical condition, you stand a greater chance of making sales. Also, when the show comes around, be sure to send out press releases, giving your book additional media exposure. Finally, if one of these shows happens to be in your area, a book exhibit vendor may allow you to make an appearance and sign promotional copies. This can be an effective way of landing your books on the shelves of stores across the country.

If you think your book might catch the eye of booksellers, librarians, educators, agents, and international publishers, if you think it’s just what they’re looking for, that it’s unique or fills a special need, give book fairs a whirl!

Wyndano’s Cloak Synopsis:
Jen has settled into a peaceful life when a terrifying event awakens old fears—of being homeless and alone, of a danger horrible enough to destroy her family and shatter her world forever.

She is certain that Naryfel, a shadowy figure from her past, has returned and is concentrating the full force of her hate on Jen's family. But how will she strike? A knife in the dark? An attack from her legions? Or with the dark arts and twisted creatures she commands with sinister cunning.

Wyndano's Cloak may be Jen's only hope. If she’s got what it takes to use it . . . 

About the Author:
A. R. Silverberry has won a dozen awards, including Gold Medal Winner in the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction; Gold Medal Winner in the 2010 Readers Favorite Awards for Preteen Fiction; and Silver Medal Winner 2011 in the Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book, Children’s/Young Adult. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing. Wyndano's Cloak is his first novel. Follow him at the links below!
A. R. Silverberry’s Website


  1. Thanks for having me on your blog today, Wayne. I enjoyed writing on book exhibits; it helped me refresh my own memory on how cool they are!

    Best Wishes,

    Writing as AR Silverberry
    Award-Winning Author of Wyndano's Cloak

  2. Anytime, Peter. Best of luck to you!