Book Fairs: Are They Worth It for Indie Authors?
“Large international book fairs, such as Frankfurt and Bologna, are where industry professionals meet to buy and sell rights, arrange for subsidiary rights, such as film and games, and scope out what’s hot in the literary market.
Can self-published authors set up a table at international book fairs? Technically, no. But in 2013, Tina Seskis formed a shell publishing company (hers was the only published book on the list), and exhibited at Frankfurt. She ended up nabbing a $500,000 deal with HarperCollins.
In general, setting up a shell company is frowned upon, and venues are tightening up their restrictions. But you can still exhibit if you have self-published. Combined Book Exhibit offers self-publishers the opportunity to showcase their books (print or ebook) and/or advertise it for a few hundred, rather than a few thousand dollars. There is an annual membership fee of $150.
The question is: Should self-publishers invest even a few hundred dollars? Showing your book at a book fair can be an advantage, provided you (the author) intend to make an appearance and know how to make a sale. Tina Seskis actually attended the Frankfurt Book Fair and set up a booth, so she was able to negotiate a deal. If you aren’t there to represent yourself, and your book is merely displayed, it won’t attract anyone’s attention.”