Love books? Visit York PA October 17th


Love books? Love animals? Save the Date for the fantastic first ever YORK BOOK EXPO on Saturday, October 17th. I’ll be there from 1-5 pm so please visit me at my table. Fun and free activities for the whole family! (there is a small fee to attend the keynote address)


Scoring Sales at Book Fairs, Festivals and Trade Shows

Book Fair

Sell books at book fairs

Omar Tyree displayed his self-published books at local bookstores and book fairs. A Simon & Schuster rep saw his book, liked it, and gave him a contract for Flyy Girl. After that, Tyree’s book hit the New York Times bestseller list.

Tyree’s huge success is exceptional, yet every author can increase book sales by getting in the game, so to speak.

For example, author Jeffrey Cook participates in and sets up numerous events, I Heart Books being one

Cook said, “I invite small groups of other local authors to come and do joint events with me. I also do events with Free Valley Publishing and NIWA here in Washington.” He mentioned Norwescon, Gearcon, Fairhaven Steampunk Festival, Steamposium and Orycon. He plans to participate in Maple Valley Days, Washington and the Snoqualmie Holiday Bazaar.

Here are some ways to start scoring more sales for your book:

Contact local and state governments, libraries, school districts, business organizations, clubs, associations and book stores for upcoming events where you can set up displays. And of course, Google “book fairs” and “literary events.”

In addition to setting up booths at the obvious venues, participate in arts and crafts festivals and fun fairs.

Author Natalie Goldberg, for example, used to write instant poetry at her booth at the local carnival. For technical writers, the Technology Exhibit is it. Business Writers: the Business Expo is a go. Children’s authors: Parents Day is the way. Historians: Olde Towne Faire is there.

When you decide to set up a booth at an exhibit, you’ll have two goals in mind. One is to increase the public’s awareness of your goods and services. The second goal is to recoup exhibition costs through direct sales and hot leads that turn into money. (The third is to have fun!)

Make appearing at exhibits part of your overall marketing plan. (Got no plan? Write one. Whether the goal is weight loss or book sales, the chances of success can increase, some say, up to 80% for people who document and use their plans.)

Before the Event:

Find out how many visitors typically attend the event so you can prepare enough give-aways, business cards and literature. (Of course, not every visitor will take your stuff, unless it’s candy in which case they’ll scoop up more than their share. “One per visitor, please.”)

Design clear, concise take-away literature that stands on its own without the need for you to explain it.

Jeffrey Cook recommends authors “Collaborate with other authors in your area to cut costs and increase table interest. Multiple genres will bring people you otherwise might not reach to at least see your work.’

Create a portable, durable display that won’t fall apart when you lug it from home, to the car, to the show, to the car, back home, to the car, to the show…

Tailor your display and activities to fit the exhibition’s overall theme or to reflect a theme of your own if one isn’t assigned for all vendors.

Visitors judge your entire oeuvre’s worth by what they see. Design a display (and that includes you, your attire and grooming, and conversational flair) to represent your excellent writing skills.

Prepare posters of your book covers, photos of you in action leading a writing workshop, and newspaper clips of you receiving a literary prize and similar attention grabbers.

Frame certificates, awards and other impressive documents. Set the framed credibility builders in small easels or plate holders available for a few dollars at craft stores.

Set up your display at home as a “dress rehearsal” to be sure all items fit in the allotted space.

Take a picture of the display so others can help you set up and tear down on the day of the event.

Distribute press releases to the media and send invitations to targeted individuals such as librarians, book store managers, book discussion group leaders and fans.

Have responses ready to counter automatic objections. Visitor: “I’ve already got too many books to read.” You: “That’s fine. I also give presentations about (fill in the blank).” Or, Visitor: “I’m writing my own book.” You: “Congratulations! I critique manuscripts.”

List and pack everything you need including water, extension cord, pen, tape, snacks, etc.

Train someone to give you break during the exhibit. (My niece did a super job. She got the names and telephone numbers of hot leads.)

During the Event:

Do the extrovert schmooze. Writers tend toward introversion, so a day of interacting with people can be tiring. Pace yourself. Be genuine and outgoing. You can decompress later.

Engage passersby with comments or questions about them or the exhibit. This draws them into the booth to linger and look.

Use a one-sentence pitch a child could understand, such as, “Readers say ‘Ken’s War’ is exciting and insightful,” and “I lead workshops on memoir writing,” and “I write resumes for job seekers,” are to the point.

Offer “event only” discounts and special incentives.

Arrange your display so people are corralled into your booth, rather than blocked by a table.

Save grooming, eating and cell phoning for break time.

Wear your name tag at all times. You never know who you’ll meet at the french fry stand.

Have someone take a photo of you interacting with visitors. Use the photo in future marketing campaigns.

Treat everyone – janitors, other exhibitors, that poor soul who comes for the freebies – as a potential client and as someone who will tell other potential clients about you.

Visit other booths for ideas and to see if you have direct competition and opportunities for collaboration.

After the Event:

Follow up on all leads ASAP.

Make notes of what worked and what didn’t. Use this info in designing your next display.

Thank everyone who helped you.



Article by the author of Ken’s WarWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide.


 ken's war cover

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award- winning author of YA books.




The Business of Writing and Promoting Your Book

Daisy White - photograph b copy by Daisy White, guest blogger


As an independent bookshop owner and an author, I speak to many writers, who email or turn up in person with copies of their work. I love discovering independent books for the shop (or adding them to the stack by my bed!), but one of the questions I always ask authors is how they will promote their work if I give them an hour for a signing, or buy in some of their titles.

It is at this point that some look bashful and tell me the book is “… only written for friends, and I feel awkward promoting my own work/not sure how social media helps/have limited time.” Others burst forth with a seemingly endless stream of ideas spanning every aspect of their book and themselves. This is not done in a boastful, self-seeking way but simply means they are a) enthusiastic b) can translate that enthusiasm into selling their book.

It isn’t just the marketing that should be approached in a business-like fashion – it is the writing! The most successful writers I know plan their writing year with priority spreadsheets. Short story/poetry competition deadline dates are logged; freelance work is entered into the master plan complete with specific deadlines and requirements; and finally novels-in-progress are given a deadline for submission.

computer-313840_150Time is also allowed for PR/marketing existing works, and any work to be launched that year. This includes signings, radio and TV appearances, interviews, social media, blogs and answering all the emails that drop into your inbox! Make sure to accept last minute queries only if you can meet the deadline and have time to research – one specialist publisher I know is regularly called upon to comment on his subject by the BBC and various National publications because as he puts it, “I make a point of being punctual, polite and research the request to the ‘enth degree!”

It can be very daunting to have a schedule to follow, in addition to the hundred-and-one other things you probably have going on in your life, but by approaching your writing with positivity and determination you can achieve far more than you ever hoped. Another of my favourite authors tells me that for every successful pitch/competition entry/submission you must expect at least twenty unsuccessful ones!

In 2014 I decided to follow the advice above, and treat my writing in the same way I treat my business (which has now won several awards). I made my plan and followed it to the letter, fitting around my job, and my family… and it worked! By the end of the year I had a publisher for my new novel (‘Taming Tigers’ is released in summer 2015 by Melange Books LLC), a regular guest slot on a radio show, and a book review column in a magazine.

Of course I am delighted that the hard work has paid off, so I am already searching for the magic markers and the 2015 calendar to plan my next year…

Daisy White – Biog

“Daisy White is a writer, mum, vintage lover, and award-winning literary entrepreneur. As the founder and owner of Daisy White’s Booktique (a pop up independent bookshop with a twist!) she has won business awards, been to speak at Number 10, Downing Street, and continues to support both authors and readers in their creative journeys.

Her writing reflects her years spent travelling, and Daisy has had articles and letters published in various National and local magazines and papers.

Born in the UK, Daisy spent time as child living in Wichita, Kansas, and has fond memories of attending school there (the library was huge!). She now lives in Brighton, on the South coast of England with her husband and two children, but still returns regularly to visit the USA.

In her spare time Daisy competes in ‘mud races’ for charity. These include Hellrunner, Kamikaze, and Downland Devil and if there is a frozen lake to be swum that is just perfect! With her children, Daisy also enjoys browsing the lanes of Brighton for vintage hats and china and taking long family bike rides along the beach.

‘Taming Tigers’ is her YA debut for Fire and Ice (Melange Books).”

Find Daisy on Facebook;

Hook up on Twitter;

Follow on Pinterest;

Or check out the website for News, Competitions and Gossip!

(From March 2015)

Book Signings: Profitable Lessons Learned at the Mall

Beth Fowler headshotI was looking forward to my first book signing. Sales were gonna skyrocket…along with my royalties.

During the two-hour autographing gig at the bookstore, I was asked for directions to the restrooms, for a date and if I’d been on TV. Book sales? Look in the dictionary under “embarrassment.” The entry reads “emotional state suffered by authors who, after unsuccessful book signings, must lug stacks of unsold books home, esp. under the watchful eyes of mall security.”

To spare yourself similar embarrassment, employ these battle-tested tactics for a book-signing victory.

Launch a publicity blitz. I assumed the manager (a pro in the book vending biz with a massive national chain store budget to spend) would publicize the book signing. She didn’t. To avoid disappointment, invite friends, family, editors, librarians, writers’ groups, clubs, your hairdresser, and former high school English teacher. Post press releases on the bookstore’s and your websites. Send releases to local papers, magazines, radio and community TV stations. Plaster notices on college, grocery store, café and other bulletin boards. And do that all again in the virtual world.

Arrange a “double header.” Combine the book signing with a free complementary attraction. At my second signing a blues duo performed cool tunes. Serving up a cookbook? Demonstrate garnish-making with rutabaga. Pushing an exercise manual? Offer free pulse rate monitoring. Or be the warm-up author for a Big Name the way lesser known bands front for Dawes.

Set out props & don a costume. Second time ‘round, I wore a camouflage jacket, hung posters of Japan, and designed a window display to draw people close enough to read the title, Ken’s War, I was promoting. The window dressing was on show two weeks before the signing as well as during.

Hand out handouts. In keeping with the theme, I gave out green tea, bamboo chopsticks and a humorous quiz about culture shock to passersby who, in most cases, then stopped to chat. Some window shoppers were inspired to pay money for books written by the generous author handing out freebies.

Be extroverted, yet subtle. I avoid eye contact with salespeople unless I’ve already decided to buy the widget they’re selling. When I was wearing seller’s shoes, I had to devise a way to establish eye contact without coming on too strong. (“Hey, you! Wanna buy a book?”) I engaged people with classic icebreakers having nothing to do with the book. After people defrosted, they’d say, “Did you write this book?” or “My daughter writes, too,” or “I don’t have time to read,” in which case I’d ask what bookworms they did know. Finding common ground paves the road to sales.

Ask the store to purchase your books. Even though selling my books direct to the public would’ve meant higher royalties per book for me; I preferred having the manager purchase books from my publisher. Managers are more motivated to promote sales to avoid having unsold stock after the book signing. Some stores, however, will only sell books available through their distribution channels, cutting out some small and indie presses. How you negotiate this angle depends on your royalty terms, whether unsold books are returnable to the distributor, if the book is POD (print-on-demand), store policy and other factors.

Smile. Junior dribbles chocolate on your books. The U.S. Navy recruiter fishes off your pier. A scarecrow panhandles for coins. Smile, smile, smile and…

Veer from discourses on religion, sex, politics and stem cells unless your book is about the controversial subject.

Sell other stuff. With the manager’s permission, while holding the book signing for the YA novel, I displayed and sold copies of a previously published book. In addition to selling books from their oeuvres, writers can sell articles and pamphlets. They can advertise availability to present workshops and speeches, ghostwrite, write résumés and so forth.

All the best at your next book signing.



 ken's war coverWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide. Shop here: Ken’s War

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award- winning author of YA books.