Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Festivals: A Must Have for Your Book Marketing Toolbox

By Donna McDine

With all the wonder of technology at our fingertips we are able to accomplish an abundance of work without even meeting people face-to-face. Don’t let the cyberspace vortex suck you in 24/7. Before you know it, it’s been days since you’ve had personal contact with others. It’s important not to get caught up into the loophole of isolation by keyboard. One of the best ways to put one’s self out there amongst is by participating in book festivals.

I implore you to stop screaming and wipe that worried look off your face. You can do this! Believe me, if I can do it you can do it. I’m not a sales person whatsoever and find it much easier to promote fellow authors than I do my own books. You give me a synopsis and bio of an author and I can talk about them endlessly. Me, my books…not so much. Until the day I pulled up my big girl pants and took the plunge into researching book festivals. Like anything in this world, some events are successful in sales, others not so much. It’s important to know either way the day is a networking opportunity to connect with fellow authors and yes the READERS we are dying to reach. Connections are essential regardless of the monetary, especially with the event organizers.

Hmmm, I hear you grumbling…

“How do I find out about book festivals?”

“It’s too costly!”

Slay your naysayer and get down to research. Yep, even though I’ve told you to get out from behind technology, this is one of those times where it’s imperative to hunker down at your keyboard. For here we go on the roller coaster ride through your region of events via the magic of cyberspace. One of the VERY BEST websites out there for book festival listings is…

Library of Congress

It’s incredible the wealth of information provided!



Not to brag, but I want to share with you two of my success stories to hopefully get you out of your comfort zone…

In the fall of 2014 I participated in the Collingswood Book Festival and the 19th Annual Rockland Literacy Extravaganza. Both events targeted a different audience, the Collingswood Book Festival focused on readers and the 19th Annual Rockland Literacy Extravaganza focused on teachers. Connections were made at both… At the Collingswood Book Festival I had the opportunity to meet readers and the 19th Annual Literacy Extravaganza I met over 60 teachers.

To top it off, I submitted my application to be a featured children’s author at the 2015 Collingswood Book Festival and YIPPEE I was accepted!

I dare you, put yourself out there….you never know what new friends and connections you may make!

Multi award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s has four early reader children’s picture books to her credit and a fifth book in the publishing pipeline with Guardian Angel Publishing. McDine is a member of the SCBWI.
Visit McDine… Website - Blog

31 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex ... I can quite see Donna points ... authors need to be out there connecting with others, joining in and sharing ... and what a great way would be a local festival .. too true ... cheers Hilary

Donna McDine said...

Hi Hilary, delighted you stopped by to visit and comment. Here's to an inspiring day! Best, Donna

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again, Donna!

Linda Kay said...

I'm working at being out there for festivals, etc. Last weekend I attended one with a total of 20 local authors at a library. We had very little traffic, and there were hardly any books sold. We were competing with a Market Days, an art walk, and Spring break. The library hopes to hold one again next year, so we had some discussion about checking to see what else is on the docket first. I did have a chance to meet some wonderful fellow authors, however.

Pat Hatt said...

It does all start with putting one's self out there. Never know what will occur

Tyrean Martinson said...

I need to work on this! I just need to find some festivals - that don't cost $250 to attend.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm participating in a small book festival in April. I'm looking forward to it. It's always fun to spend the day with other writers and readers.

Donna McDine said...

My pleasure and honor to be here!

Donna McDine said...

Hi Linda, it can be very frustrating. Often times one year a festival is a success other times it ends up being more networking. That is a terrific idea to review the local calendar first. Good luck! Best, Donna

Donna McDine said...

Hi Pat, It would be nice to have a crystal ball to see what will occur at festivals, it's truly a gamble, but it's definitely worth it! Best, Donna

Donna McDine said...

Hi Tyrean, the cost can be very frustrating and along with travel expenses it can get out of reach very quickly. Suggestion, you can check with your local Chamber of Commerce or library to try and piggy back on events they have already planned. Best, Donna

Donna McDine said...

Hi Susan, how exciting. Wishing you all the very best success. Happy networking! Best, Donna

KAHKASHAN KHAN said...

Very useful post here.

KAHKASHAN KHAN said...

Very useful post here.

Donna McDine said...

Hi Kahkashan, glad you find my post helpful! Best wishes, Donna

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Wonder to hear of your success, Donna. Thanks for sharing this info.

Stephanie Faris said...

We have a Southern Festival of Books here in Nashville but it's VERY hard to get in. I think SCBWI sets up a booth and lets you pay to participate...I don't know how all that works.

Donna Shepherd said...

Very informative! I will add the local newspaper usually does a story about the event - either online or in print or both. With one even that I did twice, a mommy-to-be visited my table the first year. The next year she came back to buy books for her baby. Made my day. Thanks for the info.

Donna McDine said...

Thanks for your heartwarming note. I hope the article was useful to you! Best, Donna

Donna McDine said...

Contact your local SCBWI chapter and ask them what their process is. Sometimes a good way to get your foot in the door for a festival is to volunteer at it and then apply the next time around. Best, Donna

Donna McDine said...

How cool is that, a return customer! Wonderful! The local newspaper is always a good connection! Glad you found my article informative! Best, Donna

A. R. Silverberry said...

Don't forget about craft fairs and XMAS bazaars Last year I did three of them and sold enough books to turn a profit.

Thanks for the great post, Donna!

DMS said...

What excellent advice! I appreciate Donna posting the screenshot and the information. Sharing her own stories helps us to have the confidence to put ourselves out there too! Awesome! Wishing Donna the best of luck. :)
~Jess

Donna McDine said...

Hi Jess, I'm humbled and touched by your heartwarming words of support. I'm delighted you find my article helpful. Wishing you all the inspiration to create your stories! Best, Donna

Donna McDine said...

Hi A.R., how wonderful is that. I'm delighted that you have found a market in Christmas bazaars and craft fairs! Kudos! Best, Donna

Kai Strand said...

Great information, Donna. Thanks for sharing!

Donna McDine said...

Thanks Kai. Glad you find it useful! Best, Donna

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm not a sales person. But I suppose that you have to put yourself out there... eventually...
Thanks for sharing, Donna.

Donna McDine said...

Hi Michelle, I know selling one's self is very difficult. For me, it's harder than the writing. Best, Donna

Donna McDine said...

I know Michelle. For me the writing is easier than the promoting!

Eric Knight said...

I finally sucked it up and attended the Tucson Festival of Books this spring. It was inexpensive, only $35 for a table for two hours. I was terribly nervous and didn't sleep well the night before but it actually went very well. We gave away cookies and had a big jar where people could fill out a ticket and enter a drawing to win a free book of their choice. I ended up with almost 40 contacts! (Yes, everyone was a winner in this contest.) When I contacted them everyone was excited about it and very pleasant. I highly recommend it to others, but you have to be willing to talk to people. Don't sit back in the shadows. Now I'm just looking for more that I can attend.