A book fair is incredibly important for authors. It offers the ability to network within the industry. Such an event will have all the people you need in your network; readers, fellow authors, book agents, publishing executives, and other people who love the book medium so much that they are willing to travel to a book fair. You have to get these people in your network, and maximize the opportunities from doing so. Here are some tips on how to become a master networker when attending book fairs:
First, Stop Thinking of Networking as a Negative Thing
The problem with many people is that they think of networking as a room full of people in business suits pretending to be interested in each other just so they can throw their business cards into as many hands as possible. If you think of it that way, it does sound boring and deceitful. Nobody wants that (except for naturally shady individuals).
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Fortunately, true networking – especially in terms of book fairs – is nothing like that. What you do is go around, socialize and make friends with people who care about the same things you do, and letting friendships and partnerships form wherever they will. If you think you have to manipulate people when networking, then the problem is with your way of thinking, not the activity.
This advice may seem open-ended, but it covers the most important part if you want to be a master networker. Don’t be one of the hundreds of guys and gals who ask the same old “So, what do you do?” questions as conversation starters. Be interesting and talk to people like you would if you want to be their friend, because you should.
Make Exposure Your Goal, Not Sales
Of course, more sales is always good and it should be your end goal if you wish to succeed in your career as a book author, but in a book fair, your main goal should be more exposure. You’re not likely to make a lot of sales in the fair itself unless you’re a celebrity or an established author, but selling a few books here and there should still make you happy because that’s extra exposure. In fact, you can give away free copies to people and that’s still going to be worth a lot in terms of added exposure.
Don’t Forget to Bring Promotional Material
People are always pressed for time, regardless of context. So don’t expect people to give you enough time to introduce yourself and your works verbally. You have to rely on promotional material – flyers, business cards, pamphlets, DVDs with ebooks on them, and anything else that could be useful. The added bonus to these is that people love freebies and bringing stuff home from an event. They are more likely to check your works out if it comes in the form of something they can consume when they get home, as opposed to just words that they’ll likely forget before the book fair is over.
Finally, Do Your Research
Don’t go in blind to a book fair if you wish to be a master networker. The people you’re going to meet – the people you’re going to network with – have social media accounts, online profiles, and works on the Internet. It will help you a great deal if you do your homework and read up on these people and their bodies of work before running into them at a book fair.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in January 2015.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]