Until recently, I hadn’t given much thought to attending trade shows and/or conventions. With only one book “in the wild” and a hosted website, it seemed a little presumptuous. I self-published Orchids Ablaze strictly as an ebook at first. Hardcopy printing brings in new levels of complexity and planning. Just getting the cover and content to display correctly is more challenging when you have to account for a rigid spine.
Kindle Direct Publishing
I put Orchids Ablaze out using Kindle Direct Publishing to get it out to the widest possible audience. That means I’m not allowed to sell a digital version anywhere outside of Amazon. I can create physical copies though. To exhibit at a convention or trade show, I decided I needed at least two out of three things:
- Business cards
- Poster-size version of the Orchids Ablaze cover
- Paperback copies of Orchids Ablaze
Since the exceptional S4 team built a logo for E3ink, I used it to build some sample business card designs to get the ball rolling. I’m still tweaking them, but early feedback is positive. They’ll be ready before I work out the logistics for a stand-up, rigid poster along with one that I can hang if need be. Obtaining paperback copies is going to take the longest of the three, I believe, so the cover poster is next. Then I’ll be ready for part of a table at a show. I’ll still have to talk myself into actually doing it, of course. I’m not one for public appearances, but it’s good to try something new occasionally.
So the first order of business (while obtaining #1-3 above) is to drop into a few shows in the immediate vicinity. I’ve been to many shows/conventions before, but never with an eye toward exhibiting. There’s a certain similarity to when I read for pleasure and when I read critically. I enjoy both, but you have to use a different perspective. Therefore, this first year of publishing I’ll be scouting and evaluating what and how I want to present at shows. I don’t know that I’ll have a second book on the streets before I try exhibiting (working on it!), but it will give me ideas on how to improve for when the next book is available.
You never know, I might even find out I like being part of the show rather than strictly a spectator. It could happen…