Saturday, July 21, 2018

Book Fairs: Worth to Present Books as Self-Publisher?

Leipziger Buchmesse

Large international book fairs, such as Frankfurt, Leipzig, and Bologna, are where industry professionals meet to buy and sell rights, arrange for subsidiary rights, such as film and games, and scope out what's hot in the literary market. 

Can self-published authors set up a table at international book fairs?  Well, if you have several titles to offer, own a publishing company, and maybe represent other writers too at the exhibition, chances are good - yet a very expensive way to show your titles.

The other thing to consider is whether your books already have a track record.  Most publishers are reluctant to make a deal with an author who has no fans, and whose books have not garnered significant sales. Selling over 10,000 books in the first year is considered significant.

However, self-publishers might waste their money (and time) on an international book fair.  But it is definitely worth attending as a member of the public, to meet with agents, publishers and publishing service providers.  International fairs are a good opportunity for meeting people in the industry, potential right buyers, attending talks, and learning everything about opportunities in the publishing industry.  Make appointments well in advance of the fair as you cannot just drop in and expect they will talk with you.  Most purchasing editors are booked long before the event.

Start Out With Local Book Fairs
While international book fairs may not be the best option for self-published authors, local and regional book fairs are a different matter.  These present many opportunities for local authors to read, sell and sign books, and lead workshops. Local fairs are an excellent means of building a fan base, as well as making contact with other authors.  If you would like to exhibit, costs are much lower than for international fairs, and the logistics are easier to manage.  Find out if there is a fair in your region by contacting your local chamber of commerce, or by googling "book fair" and your city.

For a list of all international fairs see:


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