By Pamela S. Meyers
|One of the perks of Authorfest is the wonderful view! The Riviera Bldg. is left of center|
I hate pushy sales people as much as the next person and when I first started selling at craft fairs and festivals, I waited for the customers to flock to my table. If I were a well-known author with a famous name that probably would have happened, but in my case not likely. After a so-so experience at a couple craft fairs I decided I needed to step it up.
You would think that my book Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin would be an auto-buy for anyone attending a book sale set next to the beach where the town's iconic Riviera Building is featured on my book cover. But not so much. I still had to sell the book to people and find that emotional connection for them to want to take my book home to read.
|My Book cover that matched the view|
My table was situated along a sidewalk that sees a lot of walkers over the course of a sunny summer Saturday and it was also one of several first seller tables the walkers encountered if they approached from the west.
I'm not a shy person, but the first few times I made my pitch it was a little nerve-wracking. However, each time it got easier and I tweaked it on the fly when I saw what worked. Of course you have to make this applicable to your own situation, but I've broken the pitch down into increments to give you a head start:
1. Know your target audience and begin to search the people approaching your location for those people. My main target group are women from approximately 20 years old and up. And out of that group, women from middle age and up narrows it down even more.
2. When I spotted a woman that fit my target audience, I watched for her to look over at my table and slow her pace as she took in the large sign with a picture of my book.
3. At this point I asked if she would be interested in stories set in historical Lake Geneva. By now, she had usually stopped walking and answered one of three ways: "Yes" or "Maybe" or "Not really."
4. I gave the not-really people my book mark that features my current books and they went on their way, but with those who answered "Yes" or "Maybe," I begin my sales pitch by telling them I'm the author of the book, which they were sometimes surprised to learn. Then I continued on with the following facts:
- I grew up in Lake Geneva (which gives authentication to the story).
- My story is a love story that also involves historical information woven in about what the town was like in the 1930s and how the community project of building the new recreation building on the lakeshore brought the people together.
- That the Riviera Building is on the cover of my book, and how I learned a lot about life in the town during the Great Depression and prohibition that I never knew.
- I mentioned how hard I worked at research to make sure that the only stores and places named were ones that were there at that time
|At my book table at Authorfest|
What tips can you share for making the sale when selling at fests and craft fairs?