As some of you know, I taught at a local OCCWF writer’s conference this past weekend. It was a great event! The keynote speaker was sooo inspirational. The one-on-one sessions where I got to meet with people attending the conference was so meaningful. And the classes I taught were so much fun! (Hey, how can you NOT have fun when you’re teaching a class on writing humor for kids?!) I hope you were blessed if you were at the conference, too.
Since my new book, Frederick Douglass for Kids had just arrived in the mail, I decided to take it along for its debut. And since we’ve been talking about how to market your book and get it ready for its launch, I thought I’d show you some behind-the-scenes peeks at what went on getting ready for the big event.
To help organize all my stuff that I wanted to take to the conference, I set up a 6-foot card table I bought at Walmart for handy times like this. Since I was teaching and one of the faculty, I was able to sell my books at the conference bookstore. So I carefully chose which books to take.
Since I’ve taught at these kinds of things before, I knew what kinds of books most people who attend writing conferences purchase at the conference bookstore: how-to-write books.
So I took a along a bunch of my books, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career.
But I also know that most people don’t buy other kinds of books at a writing conference such as middle grade novels or picture books unless
A) you’re a famous author
B) you have a famous book
So I brought some of my other books more for EXPOSURE to show people what kind of books I’ve written so that when they ARE ready to purchase a middle grade novel for their nephew’s birthday or a picture book for their niece’s teacher at Christmas, my book will hopefully come to their mind. Plus I handed out lots of bookmarks, too.
Here’s a picture of Sandman helping me get my books ready for the conference!
Sure enough, when all was said and done, I sold all my “how-to-write” books at the conference and didn’t bring a single one back home. I only sold a couple of my other books. But I wasn’t disappointed because I knew that’s what this type of crowd usually buys. Even the famous million-copy seller keynote speaker only sold a handful of his middle grade novels. The biggest seller at the event was the new Christian market guide…a how-to-write book once again.
So if you have a book come out and you plan on going to an event, don’t be disappointed if your book doesn’t sell well at the event. Unless the book relates to the people attending the event (such as a writing book sells well at a writing conference) it probably won’t sell much. That’s just the name of the game. But it still is good exposure to get it out there and introduce your book to the world.
(And wow, did I have fun showing my new book to everyone I met!)