Craft Shows: Can You Sell Your Books There?

Christmas Fun Selling Books 001

Today I went to a craft show, the first of my 2015 selling venues. When I entered the shopping venue, I got that feeling of community I always feel as I walked past the displays of everything from handmade fire pits to jewelry to birdhouses to quilts to clothing. I know why I always have that fellow feeling. The crafters setting up their displays as you walk to your assigned post dragging your cart are a community of interest and mutual understanding. Why the word “community?” Here are a couple of reasons. Our special group of sellers is not distinguished by economic status. While some people are relatively dressed up, most are dressed sensibly. Moving that stuff in and out of your car or more often, truck, into the selling space and setting it up attractively is sometimes really hard. Reversing the process is equally tough. Tonight I discovered an ugly bruise on my left arm from awkwardly balancing my table on my rolling cart. The darn table also has given up the ghost and yesterday developed a leg that would not stay down as I pushed the cart and kept springing up.  But who cares? We crafters are also distinguished by our optimistic feeling that today might be the day we really sell a lot. We are also marked by our friendly approach to everyone who passes by our tables and momentarily scans our wares. We all have a good question or two as we catch their eye. I was at a sale once when the inventive woman in the next booth had a radio on broadcasting a Titans game. Her question was “Want to know how the Titans are doing?” Vendors from the sale often snatch a minute or too to pass your table and appraise the contents, look for something to buy. Maybe they’ll ask you “What’s your book about?” That’s pure gold and you can expand on the plot but not too much or you’ll discourage the potential buyer who in this case is another crafter. You want to entice them into a sale, just like the non-craft visitors. In the slow times, fellow vendors are known to be helpful to each other. On a scorching day in Tennessee one time, I thought I’d have to leave. You’re not really supposed to of course. You’re always instructed to stay until closing time. On this occasion, the lady in the next booth noticed my failure to keep smiling and keep my face hidden under my hat, and invited me to set up my table in her covered niche away from the blazing sun. She not only did that but bought a book from me and instructed her husband to go and buy me a cold drink. There are more reasons I like to sell at craft shows, but the major reason is this: crafters are polite, helpful, understanding and sympathetic to their fellow crafters. They want other crafters to succeed. Yes, for sure, a book seller is almost always welcome at a craft show. If you are looking for a new venue, one away from crowded writers’ tables at some huge event, why not try a craft show. Crafters will be glad to see you!

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