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A Retrospective of the Doings at the LA Times Festival of Books

Monday, October 8, 2007

Thank Yous and Goodbyes to the West Hollywood Book Fair

Goodbye to the West Hollywood Fair for 2007!

This is a rundown and thank you to all those who participated and for those who want to know more about how the booth went.

I thought the fair was well-trafficked, well-promoted and well-planned. I don't know how many of you saw the guide/map they put out but they did a very good job with it. It is also the only fair I know of that lists all the signers in each individual booth on their website.

A special thanks to Janet Goliger. In Joyce's absence she was up at 5 am, at the fair with me at 6 (it was still dark) installing book shelves, lighting and hanging signs. She and Carol Amato stayed with me until we had broken down as well. I don't know what I would have done without them.

Also, special thanks to our three volunteers, Alexa Gregorian, Rita Gabrielyan and her friend. They handed out free CDs (many Authors' Coalition members are featured on that CD!) and took books around to talk them up. That was excellent practice in meeting people and saleswomanship for these youngsters. I am guessing that we gave away about 300 of the CDs.

The free book with purchase that we do in most of our booths is always a good perk for fair-goers. We gave away about 40 books throughout the day so that indicates a pretty decent one-day fair. It may be that more books than than were sold for sometimes some of us forgot to give away the free book when people purchased on of ours.

Keep in mind that book fairs have to be mostly about a chance to reach out to readers who are already on our lists, a chance to contact media so they know we are still alive and kicking (even if they don't show up!). One of our signers, Christine Alexanians, was very nearly successful in getting some coverage in an Armenian newspaper. It didn't quite work but next time she contacts them, they may remember her. One of our signers was an absentee. The volunteers helps pass out his cards and magnets and wore his T-shirt around the fair--not bad considering his book is political and this fair was definitely frequented by many with liberal view points.

Please review this blog for ways to apply the successes of this booth to others you may choose to participate in. Most do not provide the value-added promotions, but that won't keep you from doing it for yourself.

Our next Authors' Coalition booth/theater/extravaganza is at Veteran's Week in Branson, MO. This one is being planned and worked by AC directors Pat McGrath Avery and Joyce Faulkner. It will include the video/slide show that many Authors' Coalition members participated in. It will be shown on two giant screens in a theater that attracts many thousands of military people and veterans; the booth is in association with the Military Writers Society of America so it should also attract many writers.

Now things have quieted down, I hope you'll all review the Authors' Coalition welcome letter that comes with your membership. If you haven't already done it, you can have a review of your book(s) posted, your book can be in our bookstore with a link directly to Amazon. You can upgrade your membership to receive other perks including f r e e books on writing and more.

If you aren't receiving your associated newsletters (we want you to be the best educated published authors ever!), let us know. They are Sharing with Writers, Fiction Flier, Salute! (military people who writers who write about the military), Inkspotter, Yarnspinners and Wordweavers and QueenPower (for women seeking empowerment). The editors of each of these newsletters makes every effort to include AC members in their pages. That includes your articles, news of your releases, your fiction and your poetry. Check out the Authors' Coalition site.

And thank to our sponsores, Red Engine Press and WebforAuthors.

Best to all of you and, again, thank you!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Founder, Authors' Coalition where you'll find hundreds of resource for writers.