Book Festivals – Are they Worth it?

2012 Book Fair

Image Credit: Virginia Festival of the Book

Yesterday I participated in a local book festival.

Can’t get those six hours back.

A big goose egg.




And no, the photo above is not from the book festival I was a part of yesterday although I did attend that festival about five years ago.

At yesterday’s festival, there were probably more author and vendors than customers. And from what I could see from my table, those that were there weren’t buying much. Those authors lucky enough to have any sales seemed to be children’s authors.

Is it the demographic? I’m wondering. The genre? I don’t know.

Do you?

Or is just basically a crapshoot?

The hours I spent writing, editing, proofreading, having my manuscript proofread, edited, formatted, deciding on a cover design, working on my blog, marketing.

Spending money.

Lots of moo-lah.

Why? What’s my motivation?

I’m starting to wonder ’cause this ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve participated in several with my first book, albeit costly when I add up the cost versus what I actually sold.

As for yesterday’s book festival, it’s not like I didn’t try to help the cause. I advertised it on my Twitter, Google+, Facebook and Amazon Author Pages several times as the time grew near.

Where’s the support? The readers?

How about where you live? What are your thoughts?

Are people coming out?

Are they buying?

Is there simply too many books on the market?

I’d like to know.


9 thoughts on “Book Festivals – Are they Worth it?

  1. jacquelineobyikocha says:

    Honestly, selling books is one tough nut to crack. I’ve equally noticed that the children’s books move faster at these fairs especially when the parents come along with their young one’s. I am sceptical these days about putting out money to participate in fairs though I am thinking that maybe vendors/authors should team up and split the cost of space that they choose.
    Most times the organisers don’t put in enough to pull a crowd and at the end of the day the exhibitors (writers) are left in despair and empty pockets.

  2. relationspdbeverly says:

    I’ve shared a table before but when the table’s six feet long, you only have three feet of room between you.

    And if you do share a table, it’s good if you’re both in a different genre but lately it’s been a crapshoot.

  3. Janice Seagraves says:

    I don’t go to book fairs for just that reason, the cost. I do the online stuff.

    Still my books aren’t selling like they were. I’m finding I make more money on my short stories I write for anthologies. Sad but true.

  4. Ellen Hawley says:

    It’s a battle, selling books. I wonder, given that at a quick glance they seem to focus on relationships, you wouldn’t do better investing your time online, looking for sites that focus on related topics and offering articles or guest posts that will allow you a bio.

    No guarantees there either, but it’s worth a try and at the very least you won’t be out any money.

  5. relationspdbeverly says:

    I’ve written a guest post here and there, along with a few interviews. Veteran authors say that readers want to meet us but maybe that only applies to those authors who have a loyal following.

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