Today’s Writing Tip

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Book fairs and conferences are excellent places to meet other authors and potential readers. The energy in such venues is magical, but learning how to use it to your advantage takes practice. Many authors, myself included, are introverts, so your first experience in such an environment can be intimidating. There are also numerous conventions and protocols for how your table or booth should be set up. Thus, before you take the plunge, visit a few to scope them out so you know what to expect.

Your best bet is to concentrate on those close to home. Not only can your local fan base find and support you more easily, but others in the area will discover you as well, perhaps bringing opportunities for other appearances.

However, even in your own territory, selling enough books to cover expenses is unlikely until you’ve developed a strong fan base. This definitely applies to venues that require hotel stays or, heaven forbid, airfare, though if combined with a vacation, such bills offer a nice business-related tax deduction.

The main thing is not to be discouraged by expecting too much. Just include the cost in your marketing budget and count any book sales as a bonus.


Today’s Writing Tip

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I used to give away books via Goodreads, but the last time I went to that site to do so I discovered they were charging for it. I have to admit I had a fit at paying $119 or more to them, plus for books and postage. In previous giveaways, as far as I could tell I had gotten essentially nothing–no reviews or other evidence the winner did anything other than sell it on eBay.  (Of course that’s a bit of a joke, considering authors have a hard enough time selling books in the first place, unless they’re famous.)

I finally decided to conduct my own giveaways through my newsletter. I asked a trivia question and the first three to respond with the correct answer would win a book (an ebook, if they were outside the USA). It went great and I had some very happy fans. I can’t believe I didn’t do it this way in the first place!