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.

Zero.

Nada.

Zilch.

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.

 

Is There Bias Against Unknown Authors When it Comes to Advertising?

Add to Goodreads Image credit: Google

Let me preface my post by first stating that I think that the concept of Goodreads is an excellent one–to bring readers and authors together. To that, I have no dispute.

And I know, it’s free to join.

I recently published by second novel, The Love Labyrinth. I’ve been a member of Goodreads since mid-2012, about the same time I published by debut novel, Relations. I hosted two giveaways in the past but I was eager to find other ways to advertise on the site for my new book. Well, it is very expensive, at least for me and I told them so. Heck, some of us haven’t even sold enough books to pay for the work it took to have it published (editing, covers, etc.)

Now don’t get the impression that I don’t spend money for advertisements. I have done so in the past and I am currently doing so with my second book. I expect to pay. Something. However, the placement and advertisement of books on Goodreads’ website seem to be geared to those authors that are already well-known, best-selling authors or authors well on their way to being both well-known and best-selling. And if I had the kind of the money they expect us to fork over, I’d probably be both, too.

Therein lies my dismay. How then, do those of us authors who aren’t well-known or best-selling yet, get exposure and play with the big boys of the literary world?

Why can’t it be more equitable for us all?

What do you think, fellow authors and readers? New authors or those of us who are trying to make our way in the industry of writing and self-publishing, cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars to advertise on Goodreads or anywhere else for that matter, sometimes on one ad. Don’t even get me started on why advertising costs so much in the first place or we’ll be here all night.

So, in essence, our voices are muffled, purely based on economic opportunity and not on talent. And well-known/best-selling authors continue to have an advantage. Their ads are seen and ours aren’t, because we can afford to purchase them in the first place.

How about you? Do you think there is bias in advertising when it comes to authors? Or do you think I’m barking up the wrong tree?