Question: How can I find out about upcoming book events such as festivals and conventions where I can sell my book?



In-person events such as festivals, fairs, signings, and conventions can be a very effective way to create awareness for your book and even make some sales. Readers love meeting authors and when given the chance to hear about you and your book face-to-face, it’s difficult for them to walk away empty-handed.
Speaking or reading at the library can be a great way to sell your book.
The publishing industry offers a wide variety of events and opportunities where authors can present or attend workshops and panels, interact with authors, industry experts, and readers, and sell their books. Depending on your book’s genre or topic, it may even make sense to look outside of the publishing industry to see if there are events in other industries that align with your book.

Here are four ways to find out about upcoming events:

1. Check with your publisher

Whether you publish traditionally or through a self-publishing service provider, your contacts at these companies can be a great resource for information on book events, festivals, or conventions. Authors that publish through supported self-publishing imprints such as Westbow Press and Archway Publishing have the opportunity to participate in industry events like the LA Times Festival of Books, one of the largest and most prestigious book festivals in the United States.

If you are represented by a literary agent, he or she is likely familiar with industry events and conventions that could be beneficial for you. Don’t hesitate to ask those in your publishing network to make recommendations based on their experience and industry knowledge.

Local farmers markets and street festivals might be a great place to sell your book.2. Look locally

If you’re just getting started with in-person events, participating in local festivals, signings, and fairs can be a great way to test the waters without making a large investment. Even your local farmers market might be a worthwhile event for setting up a small booth and selling your book. Libraries often host authors for speaking engagements or “meet the author” fairs, so be sure to check the websites of your local branches. And, don’t forget about your local bookstores and other retailers that may hold book-signing events.

You can find more information about event opportunities in your community and surrounding communities by reading the local newspapers and community magazines, following your chamber of commerce online, and joining local Facebook groups. 

Your local writer’s group can also be a valuable resource throughout your entire writing, editing, publishing, and marketing journey. More experienced writers can serve as mentors and provide you with guidance and information on events they’ve attended. When considering investing in a larger festival or convention, it’s important to hear about the experiences of others to see if the event in question is a good fit for your book and budget.

3. Use online directories and resources

There are many websites and directories online that track and list book festivals, conferences, and conventions. Some even provide lists of events that fall outside of the United States. One of the more comprehensive directories is on The Association of Writers and Writing Programs website. While this is a membership-based organization, the event directory is free to use. You can also refer to well-known industry websites like IBPA, NewPages and Poets & Writers.

If your book covers a specific topic or area of expertise, you can do a Google search for events in that industry. For example, if your nonfiction self-help book is about holistic medicine, you can search and find conferences or conventions related to that topic. Both nonfiction and fiction writers can visit the websites of their national writing organizations and find genre-specific event information there.

In addition, Author Learning Center (ALC) members have access to our “Resources” pages that include some of the best writing, editing, publishing, and marketing resources available for authors outside of the ALC. These include writing organization websites, directories of book events and contests, marketing support, and more. ALC members can refer to these lists as needed and trust that the resources have been vetted.

The Author Learning Center has resources pages that provide valuable links.

4. Follow authors in your genre

It’s always a good idea to follow established authors on social media to see the content being shared, how their books are being promoted, and what upcoming events they’re talking about. You can also visit the websites of authors in your genre to see if they have an “Upcoming Events” or “Upcoming Appearances” page where you can view a calendar or listing of future events. This type of research can provide valuable insight for events and other initiatives that could be a smart investment for your book.

By connecting and networking with other authors, you might also find opportunities to pool resources and share a booth space to make an event more budget-friendly for all.

If you have an event coming up where you plan to sell your book, be fully prepared to accept payments by reading “Best Practices for Selling Your Book at Events”. And, if you’re looking for tips on how to make sure your event is a success overall, watch our recorded webinar “How to Have a Successful Book Event”.

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