Book fairs can be a fantastic source of education, connections and bookselling for the dedicated and prepared author. With some of the best 2013 summer book fairs yet to come, authors can still make the most of these opportunities.
Summer is already in full swing and there is no better way for authors to get an education, exposure and gain potential new readers than at book fairs. Every author knows that successful book publicity requires dedication, research and hard work. Not only can they put their book in front of potential new readers, but book fairs can spark media opportunities.
Book reviewers, magazines, radio, and television programs are all on the lookout for compelling stories at these events. Authors can also learn from seminars and speakers as well as the attendees and other exhibitors. Let’s look at some of the summer book fair opportunities around the country.
As of this posting, we’ve already seen the Printers Row Lit Fest take place in Chicago. The event, held June 8, 2013 in and around Chicago’s famed Printers Row, is billed as the largest outdoor literary event in the Midwest. Printers row Lit Fest draws more than 125, 000 book lovers with hundreds of authors in attendance. Keep it in mind for next year!
Another major book event was the Book Expo America (BEA), which took place late May 30 at New York’s Javits Center. If you missed BEA, be sure to get ready for next year’s event May 29 through the 31st of 2014 at the Javits Center. Lest you think book fair opportunities for book publicity are all past, there are plenty of great events coming up this summer around the country.
While exhibiting at these book fairs is the goal, it is always a good idea to check them out beforehand in order to get a feel for what to expect and not be overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the proceedings. To that end, there are some great book fairs upcoming where authors can still network and make connections with their latest book without having a booth. For authors specializing in the Christian book genre, the International Christian Retail Show is the place to be. This year’s event will be held June 23-26, 2013 at the America's Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Fifteenth Annual Harlem Book Fair will kick off July 19, 2013 in Harlem, New York. The event is one of the country’s largest book fairs aimed at African American authors, audiences and publishers with thousands of attendees, hundreds of exhibitors and speakers and some world class entertainment and food. For more Information, check out http://www.qbr.com/harlem-book-fair.aspx.
For those in the Denver area or even further afield, The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair is August 2, 2013 to August 3, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. While the focus is on rare books, it has also become a wonderful showcase for authors of period pieces. For more information, go to http://www.rmaba.org. On the east coast, authors can check out The Martha's Vineyard Book Festival, which begins August 3, 2013 and runs through August 4, 2013 in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
With some of the country’s most celebrated authors in attendance, The Fall For the Book Festival at George Mason University has become a very popular book fair. Sponsored by George Mason University and Fairfax County Public Library, Fall For the Book Festival will be held Sept. 22 through the 27th, 2013, at the George Mason University Fairfax Campus in Fairfax, VA. To learn more, go to http://www.fallforthebook.org. Some of these later events are still registering exhibitors.
Whether an author is going it alone or working with a book publicity firm or publicist, success or failure at these events is dependent on the work an author puts into them before and during the fair. Being prepared with the right materials, honing your communication skills and taking interest in those that you meet are the foundation of making the most of book fairs. By keeping your eyes and ears open, authors can learn from their peers, industry insiders and the public at these events in ways that no other venues can provide.
By Dan Smith