Eye Opener Press wanted to hear from Brenda Smith about her first experience at a book fair. We recently caught up with her and here's what she had to say.
Eye Opener Press : On December 9th, you were a vendor at The Bangor Book fair held in the Bangor Public Library, just in time for the gift giving holidays. How many vendors were present?
Brenda: This was a huge book fair for Maine with 100 book vendors, most of whom were from the northern half of the state. In fact,190 authors applied to participate in the fair, but the venue, beautiful Bangor Public Library could only accommodate 100, so the organizer had to select which applicants to accept. They had tables set up on all three floors of the library. I loved the location of my table in the spacious periodicals atrium.
Eye Opener Press : Was the fair well attended?
Brenda: Yes, the organizer estimated that between 10 am - 3:30 pm over 1,600 people attended. Honestly, it was so big and well attended that it felt a bit overwhelming to both the vendors and attendees. I think every genre of book was represented.
Eye Opener Press : How did you make your table look attractive to the attendees?
Brenda: Fortunately, my friend Dawn Hill volunteered to help me at the fair. We left Belfast at about 7:30 am arriving at the library by 8:30. Once we got all of my "stuff" for the fair inside the library and found our location, we used one of my kangas as a table cloth, and hung the other behind as a back drop. Besides a poster of my books and the books themselves, I offered a free raffle for a signed paperback, a coffee mug featuring the cover of my book, a plush friendly crocodile and a book bag with a label of my book cover on it. Many people signed up for the raffle, and a fair number bought a copy of the book.
Eye Opener Press : What did you enjoy most about the fair?
Brenda: The chance to interact with so many book lovers, fellow authors and library staff. Since this was my first book fair, I learned some nifty tricks of the trade from the more experienced authors about table decoration and giveaways. The day left me tired, but energized.
Eye Opener Press : Who won your raffle?
Brenda: Molly Slotznick of Bangor was the winner, but actually I notified all of the people who entered the raffle they could download a free ebook during a five day free book Amazon promotion I ran the following week. So actually they all were winners!