Honestly, we love that people love to read. We do. Especially in this day and age where more than half of the population is glued to their phones and have no time for wholesome things in life (don’t quote us on that). However, getting ready for a book fair can be challenging to say the least. The organizing, the money, and the customers can be overwhelming. As someone who’s been there, I’d like to give you my two cents regarding book fair preparation.
Time and Place
So, if you are a book shop owner, or a publisher, you will want to get in on the action of selling books during a fair. The foot traffic should guarantee you more customers than you would normally get in a day. But here’s the thing – where and when will the book fair be held? You will have to get in touch with the organizers, and plan accordingly. Prepare your booth.
Family, vacations, as well as sick days – all of these must be taken into account. Make sure you have all hands on deck, since you cannot afford to be understaffed. Volunteers are fine – if you have family and friends that love books, invite them over to keep you company and, possibly, pick up the slack. Don’t rely on flakey people. Prepare food and beverages for everyone – you’ll be there for a while.
You’d think you wouldn’t need anything apart from a few books and some change, right? Well, you will need much more than that, to be sure. Here are a few things, apart from books, you should absolutely have in your arsenal.
People often don’t want to be bothered with asking how much something costs, and will just pass a booth if this info isn’t readily available. For this purpose you should print out, or write down, the price tags for your books.
Alternative Payment Methods
Have a credit card reader handy, since some of your would-be customers don’t carry a lot of cash on them. Additionally, if it’s possible, look up the info on other forms of payment, like BitCoin (it is completely up to you whether you accept cryptocurrency or not – the jury is still out on that one).
Prepare some bags with the logo of your company. It makes the books easier to carry, and the customer’s will appreciate it. If you want to go green, by all means, do so.
Finally, you will have to prepare to accommodate your customers, though not at the expense of your sanity. Always be polite, smile, and be prepared for questions, both smart and dumb. You will have to know a lot about different writers and stories that you have stored on the shelves, so that, if need be, you can recommend alternatives.
Be prepared to offer discounts, book club memberships and other perks that might turn the person standing in front of you into a returning customer. Stationary also helps.