Conferences as Exhibitors
by Elysabeth Eldering
As an author promoting oneself, we are told to "think outside the box" and promotion is all about finding new ways to get your books out there. We are also encouraged to attend conferences for the information to help us better our craft. But what about attending conferences as an exhibitor or vendor? How many of you put that extra into attending conferences as an exhibitor? What kind of conferences do you think your books are best suited for as a vendor?
Since I'm writing an educational series meant to supplement the social studies curriculum, not overtake it by any means, my goal is to exhibit at as many school related type conferences as possible. The attendees may not have buying power but if I can put an order form in their hands, it is more likely that somewhere down the line that those orders will show up.
Here is a list of some conferences I hope to attend as an exhibitor or vendor over the next few years, in addition to the ones I've already attended and plan on going back to:
- South Carolina School Librarians Association conference
- Georgia COMO (this was a combined school librarians and other librarian associations conference, which led me to four book distributors to get my books in the schools)
- Geofest (South Carolina)
- South Carolina Council for Socila Studies
- Georgia Geofest
- Georgia Council for Social Studies
- North Carolina Council for Social Studies
- any state Social Studies conference as my books start supporting me since I want to travel to all 50 states and do school visits, et cetera
- Any state librarian or school librarian association conference
- homeschool conferences (I've attended and hope to find several more and attend more in the future)
I know this list seems limited but for the moment, my funds are limited and until my books are supporting me and I'm able to quit my full-time job and just travel, these are fairly close to home and within driving range. The possibility is endless. Even some writer's conferences allow authors to come in and be exhibitors. The biggest factor is just finding the right conferences to attend that are within your budget in order to make the most of it. I encourage all authors to attend at least their state librarian conference as an exhibitor or the school librarian conference because you never know who you will meet or connect with that will lead to bigger and better things. For me, it's the opportunity to gain the exposure I need to get my books out in the nation and to the schools where they need to be. So don't limit yourself, invest in your books and find those conferences that will allow you to be an exhibitor and promote yourself like crazy.
Ms. Eldering is the award winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series. Her stories "Train of Clues", "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests). Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review. Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet. When she's not busy with teenaged children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events promoting her writing. For more information on the JGDS series, stop by the JGDS blog or the JGDS website. For more on Elysabeth's other writings, please come over to her blog or her website.