Book Con, We Did It!

BookCon, the largest book festival in the country, was held May 30 and 31 at the Javits Center in New York City and Open Door Publications was there! It was fun, it was exhausting, and it was a great experience. Authors Chelsea Dixon, “Bridging the Gap: A Simple Guide to College,” K.W. Penndorf, “Freya and the Dragon Egg,” and Nicole Loughan, “The All Saints Murder Mysteries,” came with us. Here are some great photos from the event, along with some of the things we learned.
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• Make a Plan: Before you go to BookCon (or any event) decide what you want to accomplish and who you want to see.
• Great Giveaways: Have bookmarks, postcards, or other items made to give away with your name, the title and cover of your book, everywhere it is sold, and your contact information. Don’t be too cheap. Get enough and have them professionally designed and printed. You are competing with the “big boys.” Our booth was between Scholastic and Norton.
• Location, Location, Location: Which brings us to the next point. Choose your booth carefully. Our location helped us to be more visible and make more contacts.
• Give Away Your Books: This was the first year that exhibitors were allowed to sell books at BookCon. But after less than half an hour we discovered that the attendees were expecting giveaways. Yes, it hurt, but we quickly changed our strategy. After all, we were there to get the word out about our books. That means we wanted at many people as possible to take them, read them, and review them. Nicole gave away over 100 books in less than hour.
• Take Names: We had a notebook with a page for each of the people in the booth to gather contact information from the people they met. BookCon attracts book bloggers, book reviewers, librarians and teachers, all of which are excellent contacts for authors. Our authors have been able to set up skype tours, workshops and book signings with the contacts they made that weekend.
• Have Fun: Don’t forget to take some time to have fun. Photo bomb famous people, enjoy the crazy costumes, pick up a few free books for yourself, and get in line for some of the most popular giveaways. We got the Sharky Marky tote bag but we missed the foam shield advertising the “Percy Jackson” series.
• Follow-Up: Make sure you follow-up within a few days with the contacts you have made. Don’t wait for them to contact you.

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