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The Magic of Cross-Promotion How To Do It Frugally Style

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

Friday, January 9, 2009

Come Cross-Promote at the LA Times Festival of Books

Christine Alexanians is handling our booth this year. Here is what she plans and the details for participating:

Come Join Us as a Participating Author at the LA Times Festival of Books
The following is the planned 2009 program:

You are invited to participate in our next LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books booth--the last weekend of April 2009--and/or any of the value-added programs aligned with the fair. The book-signing portion of the fair requires that you attend, the others do not.

(To see the 2008 video made by Rey Ybarra, go to Best Selling Author Television site

Our group of authors will again be sponsoring a booth at the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books on April 25, and 26, 2009. We focus on making a humdrum fair into a sizzling success and from past experience, we make changes every year based on what we learned the year before and the year before that.

One hour (50 minutes to allow set up) signing segments cost $150 for the first and $100 for the second day. The fee includes display in the booth for the full two days.

Last year we had our booth televised on the Internet. Rey Ybarra from Best Selling Author Television was there to cover the event. He conducted short three-minute interviews with the participating authors. The program proved to be a great success.

The advantages of our LA Times Booth:

1. Ongoing education on PR and promotion for participants during the planning of the booth.
2. Value-added promotions designed to draw readers to our booth (more to come on these later.)
3. Cross promotion benefits of many participating authors rather than of only a few.
4. Excellent location at the fair for a fraction of the cost of an individual booth.
5. Association with other authors with recognized names.
6. A stable booth position/location with an established history among return visitors to the fair.
7. A booth with double the usual frontage of most (depending on participation).
8. Assorted ways to participate, some available to authors who don't live in the area.
9. A limited number of books and authors accepted to increase visibility.

10. Display of the books of signing authors for the full two days of the fair.
11. Display of your poster for the full two days of the fair.

12. Exposure of your name and book's title on our blogs.
13. Your book listed on an Amazon Listmania.
14. The credibility of being associated with a well-planned booth sponsored by professionals.

15. Associated value-added promotion like our catalog for booksellers, our video special, our tote program, our slide show and our gift with purchase help attract interest in the booth, help encourage sales, and help us keep cross-promotional efforts going long after the fair.

WHAT'S NEW In 2009

~Poetry reading

~Story time for kids

~Promotional Tote Bags

We are planning to have a poetry-reading hour and a children¢s story reading hour in the afternoon slots. The cost will be $35.00 for a 15 minutes-reading time. This is new and details will be provided in the subsequent issues.


Books on display will be shown on a bookstand, not tossed into a bin with hundreds of others. There is room near each participant's book to have a flier 4 x 5 3/4 and, to give away bookmarks or business cards--any two of the three. Each author may also supply laminated signs with grommets to be hung around the perimeter of the booth. Note: We are not offering display to anyone not signing this year. All books on display will be those of signing authors.


No books will be sold out of the booth except by signing authors at the time of their signing. Books will be displayed with order forms when they are not signing. (See above.).


Our fair-focused blog is open to all. It further exposes our participants' books. We use the blog as a kind of journal of our experiences and the blog comments as a way to share promotion ideas and ask questions. It is an ideal way to keep a record but also to share with other writers who might be planning a fair booth elsewhere.
We also offer a free review blog ( where participants can have their favorite reviews (with permission from the reviewer) posted.


Local authors or authors willing to travel may purchase one hour (50 minutes to allow set up) segments of signing time. Signings will be posted in the booth (Sorry, but the LA Times Festival of Books administration does not provide a way to list multiple authors in the brochures, etc. that the LA Times sends out. Thus signing authors will be responsible for their own promotions including media releases and invitations to drive traffic to their signing. In fact, for everyone to benefit we will ask for a pledge that each of them will do so.)

One hour (50 minutes to allow set up) signing segments cost $150 for the first and $100 for a second hour. The fee includes display in the booth for the full two days. If you choose to sign, we strongly recommend that participants consider the stands and banners we tested last year to make their signing times a standout. All signing positions are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We have had authors with books traditionally published as well as subsidy- and self-published. We only ask that no one with pornographic material apply because we are located near the children's section and sometimes have children's authors as signers.


It is our policy to supply ideas for book fair promotion as well as to lead our participants through the process. We begin early. Many find this an educational experience equivalent to taking an expensive class in promotion.

Disposal of Fair Materials:

Books and promotion materials will not be returned. Display books will be donated to a library after the fair. If you don¢t want to donate your books, please pick them up Sunday afternoon.

Other terms:

Because of the training process and because we must pay our expenses early, fees must be paid upon signing and cannot be refunded. There are also no refunds for natural or unnatural disasters and, yes, that includes rain. (The festival Administration doesn't refund our fee.) We've never had rain yet. This is sunny Southern California!

An author must participate in the signing segment to actually sell books. They sell their own books in our booth only during their signing time and handle their own sales (or bring an assistant to do that for them.)


To participate send an e-mail to Christine Alexanians at She can invoice you for PayPal or give you an address to send a check. Please put "LA Times Fair" in the subject line and please let her know the programs you would like to participate in so she will know how to bill you. She will then send you details for participation and answer other questions regarding this show. The booth promotion will be handled by Christine and Carolyn Howard-Johnson.
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Blogging by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Learn more at Carolyn's website, Her blogs are also content-laden:
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