Getting The Most of Your CBE Book Display
The Combined Book Team January 19, 2015

Having your book displayed at any of our shows can generate sales, interest and most importantly give your project exposure. As with any form of marketing there is never a guarantee on how much success you will have, however there are extra steps you can take to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. Read on to see how you can make the most of your print or eBook display with The Combined Book Exhibit.

1. Spread the Word Beforehand:

I sometimes joke with authors that having your book displayed at a show and not telling anyone about it is the same as having a party without sending out the invitations, and it really is true. Many times show attendees, especially those that have been to book shows in the past, plan their days ahead of time. If the people you are trying to reach are mapping out which booths to stop at during their visit and they have no idea your book will be there or that you’ll be having a signing, chances are they’ll have something else planned during your event or won’t think to look for your specific book. While many attendees do browse our displays and pick up books by chance, wouldn’t you rather plant the seed that your book will be on display before they’ve arrived? Don’t leave it to chance! It will give your book more of an opportunity to be recognized and increase the likelihood of an attendee carving out time to come see your specific book.

So how can you promote before a show? CBE sends pre-show mailings with graphics like this one to help authors promote their titles. So be on the look out for our pre-show newsletter.

Our newsletter also includes the official show hashtag for you to use on twitter. Many show attendees and exhibitors use the show hashtag to reach one another, and it can be a great way to make sure people know your book will be featured in our exhibit.

Make sure you include the graphic, or your book cover/your own graphic, on as many social media sites as you can. I suggest making a dedicated events page on your official website as well. If you’d like to make more personalized graphics to promote your book you can use the free online site Picmonkey. A graphic including your book cover, our booth number and the show name would be a nice touch, add your head shot if you’re having a book signing!

An example of a promotional graphic I made for my book signing at last year’s ALA Annual in Las Vegas.

2. Promote during the show

Just as important as letting people know your book will be on display ahead of time, is keeping up with the social media activity during the trade show itself. Many of these shows have social media driven parties and events, by keeping up with what is happening at the show via social media you can actively participate in the conversation without physically being there. It also gives you a chance to mention your book is being displayed to people who are actively discussing the show online. Use the official show hashtag, find the official page for the show and dive in head first! You never know who’s attention you can get by participating in the online conversation but remember to keep it professional and avoid spamming. If you’d like a picture of your book on display to tweet or post you can email us and we will try our best to provide you with one.

3. Have a Show Related Promotion

In order to get further exposure for your book, you might consider having a show related promotion. If your book is on Smashwords for example, you can generate a coupon code for a discount off the eBook for one date during the show or for the duration of it. You can also have a Goodreads book giveaway that coincides with the show dates, or any other promotion you think might bring more attention to your book being at the trade show. If you don’t want to put your books on sale or give them away, perhaps a bookmark or merchandise sale/giveaway is the way to go.

4. Follow up after the show

Many times we provide leads after our shows and when we do this is the perfect opportunity to follow up about your book. Crafting a professional and eye catching newsletter and sending out information on your book or future project could be the perfect way to grab your audiences attention. Mailchimp has some great free options for newsletters including free templates to use. Adding pictures, graphics and the event itself to a dedicated Events Page on your author site is also a great idea. It helps your website visitors see what you have done to promote your books in the past and increases buzz and plays on the momentum gained during the show.

Every author event you do should be treated as a big deal, so from pre-show promotion, to tweeting up a storm during the event, and following up with your leads afterwards, it’s important to spread the word and make as much noise about your book as you can – without of course resorting to spam and over posting!

If you want even more exposure for your book, why not try an author signing? Read our blog post to find out how to set up your own at a trade show, conference, library or book store. We also have one on one consultations and social media help available if you’d like further help promoting your book. Click here for a full list of our services.


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