10 Tips for Running a Book Table

10 Tips for Running a Book Table

I ran a book table at a vendor fair this past weekend. πŸ‘€ (“For the first time in foreverrrrrrr!” 🎢) And it was pretty fun and went pretty well. πŸ˜‰

I thought I’d share some pictures under the guise of sharing tips with y’all. πŸ˜‰ Mwahahaa.

1. Order stock early!

I’ve had a few scary events where my books have arrived literally the day before, and I won’t let that happen again if at all possible. If you’re ordering through KDP, I recommend giving yourself three weeks at minimum for the books to print, ship, and arrive. If you’re ordering during a busy season (mid-summer and holidays seem to be the worst) or this is your first run of this book so it may not go smoothly, go ahead and give yourself even more time. You won’t regret it. πŸ˜‰

The view from behind the table…

2. Pack yourself an emergency bag!

That’s extra change, pens, tape, scissors, granola bars, anything you (or your helpers) are possibly going to need. If this is an all-day event, bring something to do for the slow moments. πŸ˜‰

3. Bring a cashbox.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but this will help you keep track of different bills and feel more secure about your earnings.

4. Use book stands.

I like to get mine from the Dollar Store. They literally last forever, and you can buy a large quantity if needed. They add more visual interest to your table, and if you have display copies people can flip through, it’s even better.

✨ Branding ✨ lol

5. Think about your pens!

Are you going to be signing books? Pick pens that are easy to use, don’t smear, and last for a long time. I love using silver Sharpies for this. Or if you’re not personalizing, you can pre-sign all your books at home.

6. Price stickers aren’t necessary.

But they can look extra professional. πŸ˜‰ This time I went with a picture frame “menu” just for ease and cost reasons. Sometime I’ll get myself some gorgeous reusable stickers. πŸ˜‰

I was selling cupcakes too because I like to complicate things… πŸ˜‰ (Photo credit: Emma)

7. Choose packaging wisely!

If this is an all-day or outdoor event, you may want to provide customers with packaging to protect their new book. Whether that’s a bag, tissue paper, Kraft paper, etc…. And cute packaging that shows off your branding is kinda a bonus. πŸ˜‰ I chose tissue paper which it ended up being wayyy too windy for. πŸ™ˆ

8. Step it up with business cards!

These are actually pretty easy to make,(especially with templates from Canva) and print at Staples. Don’t include so much info it’s cluttered, just the basics like your name, where to follow you, where to find/buy your other books, etc.

Canva template + own aesthetic + Staples print center = voila!

9. Be strategic with your booth decor.

Choose items that add visual interest, practical use, or aesthetic to your brand/books themselves without being cluttered. This can be a huge way to set your booth apart from the others and encourage customers to check it out. πŸ˜‰ It’s also pretty fun.

Some decorations are mine, some are my fabulous mom’s.

10. Personalize thoughtfully!

And finally, if you’re personalizing books and want to ensure you get the customer’s name right, have them write it on a scrap of paper for you to copy.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a peek into my booth and get to do one of your own sometime! πŸ’–

13 thoughts on “10 Tips for Running a Book Table

  1. Oh, your booth is so pretty, Kate! I had gotten curious on how to run an author/book table after visiting a craft fair a couple months back (they had indie authors there too!). Thank you so much for the helpful tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are fantastic tips and pictures!! Your table looks awesome and I love your business cards. I’ve been to one author fair and it was a blast! One tip I’d like to add from my experience: a newsletter sign up sheet.


  3. Hello!! ☺️ I love the way you decorated your book table, it’s so aesthetically pleasing πŸŽ€ (Even the cupcake and stand looked so cuteee- yes please!) 🧁 This looked like a fun experience, I enjoy hearing behind the scenes info and tips on stuff like this. πŸ₯° I’m glad it went well!

    Liked by 1 person

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