I have been asking tips from a friend of mine, who has already self-published her book, on how to make the most out of a book fair. She shared to me her experience, attending the 2013 London Book Fair for the first time. Below are handy tips which I find helpful that I am sure you’ll find useful too.
- Make sure you find time to scan the conference agenda before attending the event. It pays to be well-appointed. You would not want to end up spending most of your time wandering obliviously trying to determine which exhibition booth or exhibition display stand systems you need to visit first. When she attended the LBF 2013, information was easier to access because attendees were given a free downloadable app for smartphones to aid them in scheduling seminars that they want to attend and checking in booths or display stands that they want to visit.
- Imagine yourself being in the same building with other publishing experts! What will you do? The answer is simple. Grab this perfect opportunity by putting yourself out there. Remember that book fairs like LBF only happen once a year. Go ahead and initiate a tête-à-tête with beginning and expert writers alike. But it is not advisable to paddle into a conversation just to have that person do something for you. Enjoy meeting new acquaintances. Be confident and refrain from showing nervousness. By taking yourself seriously, other people will also take you seriously. Also, refrain from handing over resumes or enquiring about job openings during the event’s duration.
- Attend sessions, seminars, interviews and demos. My friend added that there are better opportunities after the official closing hours of the LBF. While in the fair, she attended one of the seminars and directly gained new friends. Later that evening, she was able to mingle with them in a laidback atmosphere. It also gave her the chance to be introduced to several other editors and authors. It is best to go out there and just be yourself. Be friendly and have a good time.