Growing up one of my favorite days in grade school was book fair day. I must admit I really wasn’t one of those kids that was always reading, I was typically outside playing with whatever ball I could find lying around in the yard. However, I absolutely loved our school book fairs. We were able to look at various books and if we were lucky, we had a couple of bucks with us to buy one. In my case that was usually a book on one of my many sports heroes. Fast forward twenty or thirty years, okay maybe a few more and I still feel that excitement around a good book fair. In fact, recently with the global pandemic ongoing that has become a challenge as all of us have been forced online for nearly everything. Not wanting to give up on that feeling of excitement and also seeking ways to promote my own book, I started searching for online book fair options and eventually even created an experience of my own that I will share with you toward the end of the article. In the meantime, I would like to focus on what makes a book fair great, the fairgoers.
In every case that I can imagine a successful book fair starts out with one basic premise which is how can one put together a collection of books that will help readers find books in genres they love that they might not find on their own. Given the millions of books that are available on Amazon and other online retailers the reality is that there are tons of books that readers might enjoy that they likely will never see just based upon the sheer volume of titles to wade through. Some ways to organize books for readers include:
If the focus of the book fair is on helping readers find books that they most likely will be interested in reading, the chances of a successful and well-visited fair go up tremendously. What online book fairs want to provide is the same excitement of those traditional book fairs that many of us loved back in our school days or maybe growing up and visiting our local library book fairs. Currently there are group promotions that authors can participate in but they don’t have exactly the feel of a fair.
There really isn’t a site that is specifically dedicated to book fairs that is available to all authors (self-published or traditionally published). There are sites like BookFunnel that provide group promotions in addition to other features, but they don’t have quite the same goal or nostalgia factor as a traditional book fair. Accordingly, we decided to build a platform that would be controlled by authors but also be focused on providing readers with themed book fairs that really resonate with them. This is the overarching vision behind eBookFairs.com. The best way to show what the fairs are like is to list a few of the recent fairs for your review.
Any author can create an account on the platform, subscribe, and start creating book fairs so there are some creative fairs popping up every day that target different groups of readers. Since the organizer reviews every book that is submitted, they really do a great job of keeping the fair on point so that fairgoers know exactly what to expect when they attend the fair.
As the pandemic comes to an end, we may find that we are able to hold traditional book fairs again on a regular basis, but like many things about our lives, we now have more online choices than ever. We think the convenience of online book fairs will be one of those lasting changes and will offer readers a really great way to get excited about attending a book fair for different themes or genres they love. As long as we build every fair with the fairgoers in mind, we can create a win/win for both readers and authors to connect them in a new and rewarding way.