Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-07-01

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Uncategorized
  • Hey everyone! I have an article on http://t.co/r8Y2LsS6! http://t.co/8NdchTH7 #
  • Well, I guess my show airs at another time. I'll keep you posted. #
  • Just got The Saint of Petersburg back from my beta reader. Now I have four days to get it ready to go to the editor. #
  • Too many shoes? That's like saying you're having too much fun. It just doesn't make sense. #
  • RT @centsibleereads: 1920's racial issues and love in SHADOWS OF ST LOUIS by @sybilnelson, a unique #historical #romance…. #
  • The Saint of Petersburg is one chapter away from being complete. Then it's off to the editor! #

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The Long Reaching Effects of Marketing

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Uncategorized

So a few weeks ago I was a little bummed out about not selling a ton of books at the YALL festival. But it was still a great experience and awesome exposure. And you never know what kind of opportunities something like that opens up. For example, one lady I met there was a former principle and current middle school librarian. She invited me to come and speak to some of her students this past Wednesday at it was a great experience. The group of seventh and eighth grade girls I had were so engaged and just completely amazing. I ended up selling 15 books total and the librarian is trying to get me in contact with some of her media specialist friends. So you never know where things can go from a seeming only moderately successful marketing endeavor. I am so looking forward to my next book fair. If things work out, I should be attending five book fairs next year all in South Carolina or Georgia. Maybe in 2013 I’ll extend my book fair experiences even further.

Success…(Well, kinda)

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Marketing

So I started my brochure campaign on Nov. 30 sending out as many brochures as I could address and label while my six year old got ready for school. It was about 15 or so. I’ve been doing that every morning since. Anyway, on Friday, I got my first response! A teacher emailed me wanting to know how much I charged for a speech. Of course, I didn’t know the answer to that.  I mean, I’ve done speeches before but in the past, I’ve just let them pay me whatever they wanted, which turned out to be anything between free and $300. Yeah, I should have thought this through a little more.

Honestly, I would do it for free, but I don’t want to get in the habit of doing freebies. If I start that, it will be even harder to start charging later. So, I emailed an author I met at the Savannah Children’s Book Festival who does school visits regularly. After taking note of her prices, I decided to charge $200 for a speech and signing with an additional $50 per class to visit individual classes and present my writing workshop. Does that make sense? Now that I think about it, that kind of pricing would only work for small schools where they could fit most of the school in auditorium for one big speech and then split up into groups. I think I might need to tweak my pricing scheme. I really should have thought this through earlier. Any suggestions are welcome. Anyway, after I gave her my prices, she said she had to talk to her principal. So who knows if I’ll actually get a gig out of this.

I’ve also figured out an easier system to do these mailings. I found two packages of labels in my room and decided to print the addresses of these schools instead of handwriting them. This works for several reasons. First of all, it’s neater. Second of all, I’ll have an instant list of addresses for future mailings. I was already planning of sending an introductory email to all the schools I send my brochure to and now I think I’ll mail a postcard to every school I haven’t heard back from sometime in February.

I’ve already mailed my brochure to the local independent bookstores here in Charleston, but I need to figure out a way to mail them to the Barnes and Nobles here. When I go to the websites, there’s never a name for the manager or anything so I don’t know exactly who to address it to. I don’t want to put a generic “Store Manager” on there. That would probably guarantee it never getting opened. I guess I could go into the stores and hand them the brochure. Hey, that’s not a bad idea. It saves me a stamp and the added personal touch might motivate them to purchase my books. I’ll let you know how it works out.

The McDonald’s Approach

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Marketing

I was driving down the street today and noticed a McDonald’s billboard…and then another one…and another one. And it got me to thinking. This is a billion dollar company yet they still have to work at advertising and marketing. I mean, does a day go by when you don’t see a McDonald’s ad, commercial, or a McDonald’s restaurant? Probably not. They’re everywhere. And part of their success is that they don’t let up on advertising…ever. So I decided to take a fry out of their Happy Meal so to speak. It’s time for me to blitz the market and get my name everywhere. If people keep seeing me and my books, they’ll eventually get curious and buy…at least I hope. With that in mind, I’ve decided on a plan for my brochure mailing project and I started it tonight. As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, I’ve created a tri-fold brochure about myself and my books and offered my services as a guest speaker and writing workshop presenter. I’m going to send them to every school library in the tri-county area. Not only that, but a week after I mail them, I plan on following up with an email. Then a month after the original mailing anyone who hasn’t responded will get a cute little postcard with the Priscilla book cover. Too much? Well, not if you think about it from the McDonald’s point of view. If this works, then I plan on extending it to counties that are farther away and also book stores and public libraries.

Here is the brochure:

On the inside is just my books and a one line description. I created the brochure in powerpoint and then used sales at Vistaprint to print them for free 25 at a time.

On an encouraging note, I’ve been selling a lot of print copies of Priscilla on Amazon. And the term “a lot” is relative. I’ve sold 60 this month up from 31 last month. So that’s a lot for me. Anyway, I decided to go check out my ranking and I noticed that my book is offered with one of the Wimpy Kid books for a discounted price. How did this happen? I have no idea. But I’m super excited about it. Unfortunately, the offer is one sided. If you go to the Wimpy Kid book page, my book isn’t offered there. But hey, it’s a start.

So print sales are going up while online sales are going down. Along with the brochure campaign to get print sales even higher, I also have to do something to get my ebook sales up. One suggestion I read somewhere was to identify the top 100 websites that are related to my books and figure out how to get on those sites whether by commenting or buying an ad. Well, buying any ads is completely out. Just got my medical bills for my surgery last month and right about now my finances are hemorrahaging about as much as my abdomen was. So I have to continue to search for free and cheap things. I thinking of dedicating 30 minutes a day to commenting on book related blogs. I’m also going to amp up my facebook and twitter posts.

All right, I’m off to go mail off some more brochures while simultaneously hoping McDonald’s doesn’t sue me for using their logo.

10,000 Sales Update

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Marketing

Back in September, I set a goal to have 10,000 total sales by the end of this year. At the time, I was on track to make it easily. Since then my sales have fallen off …a lot. As of November 23, I have about 7200 total sales. So either I’m going to have to have my best month ever in December or I’m not going to make my goal. But hey at least I tried. And if I don’t make it in December, I’ll surely make it in January, right?

Honestly, I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to marketing lately. Things got really busy at school. Plus I had to have emergency surgery. And I have a couple of kids and a husband to take care of. I even had to give up on Nano this year. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself, but as always I want to do more.  I’ve been tossing around ideas in order to get my sales back on track for 2012.

But I’m not going to give up quite yet on making my 2011 goal. I’m going to try to ramp up my marketing in December and see what I can do. I’m going to start tweeting regularly, posting on facebook, and sending out Leslie DuBois and Priscilla the Great Newsletters. Maybe I’ll even go as far as having a month long sale of some sort.

My goal for 2012 is to have 12k sales for the year. I want to average at least 1,000 sales a month. With ten books out, that’s only 100 sales per book per month. Plus, I plan on releasing five more books next year. Should be easy, right? Huh, we’ll see.

Sample Sunday: La Cienega Just Smiled

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Sample Sunday

Hi everyone,

This is a sample of my new book La Cienega Just Smiled. It’s currently available as an ebook and will be out in print on Tuesday.

Chapter 11

Amber’s house was located just around the corner from the celebrated Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina. From their living room you could see Fort Sumter where the initiating shots of the Civil War were blasted. I would’ve given anything to be able to jump into the frigid Atlantic and swim out to that island instead of sitting at the table across from Amber’s stiff parents and her bratty little sister. I wasn’t intimidated by the fact that her father was a judge or that the plates on the table were probably worth more than my car. What made my throat tighten and hands shake was the fact that Mr. Sullivan had asked me five different ways in about three minutes what my intentions were with his daughter. Meanwhile, Amber smiled at me like a lovesick mute who offered no assistance in the form of diverting her father’s attention from me.

“So who are you voting for in the election?” was his first question that didn’t directly pertain to his daughter. Instead of being relieved at the Amber reprieve, I was once again panic stricken as I realized I hadn’t made a final decision. But judging from the McCain-Palin sign in his front yard, I was pretty sure he didn’t want to hear that. Or else he’d spend the rest of the evening trying to sway me to his side.

“Peter, not at the dinner table.” Mrs. Sullivan words were like a life preserver. I would have kissed her if I didn’t think Amber would jump across the table and beat down her own mother in a jealous rage.

“What?” Mr. Sullivan asked innocently of his wife as he looked up from his soup appetizer. “I can’t ask the boy his opinion? He sure better have an opinion by now. The election is in two days. You are eighteen aren’t you?” he asked me.

“Yes, sir,” I said, reaching for water to quench my suddenly parched throat.

“You registered?” he continued, dabbing his Yosemite Sam moustache with a napkin.

“Yes, sir.”

“Peter, really? Can’t you ask him a question that’s a little less volatile?” said Mrs. Sullivan who was a dead ringer for Vanna White.

Meanwhile, six-year-old Crystal kicked me under the table then whispered, “You better vote for McCain. Obama is a Sofa list.”

“Socialist, honey. Obama is a socialist,” Vanna, I mean, Mrs. Sullivan corrected her daughter.

“That’s my girl,” Mr. Sullivan said before hi-fiving Crystal.

“Why don’t you ask him where’s he’s going to college? He has so many schools after him, he can go anywhere he wants,” Amber said, gushing so much I half expected her soup to explode out of the top of her head.

“Where do you intend to matriculate?”

“Um, I’m leaning toward Cal State Fullerton. I’d love to play baseball there.”

“California? I don’t want my little girl living amongst all those liberals. You know they let gays get married there?”

“Excuse me … what?” I said nearly choking on the spoonful of soup I’d tried to get down. Who the hell invited Amber to California? Was she really planning on going to any school I went to?

“I know. It’s ridiculous. Men marrying men. Women kissing on women. It just ain’t right.” He misunderstood my confusion.

“God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” Crystal volunteered while folding her arms smugly.

“Amen, baby,” Mr. Sullivan said, hi-fiving his daughter again. “Anyway, you and Amber should go to a school right here in South Carolina.”

“May I use your restroom?” I said, standing abruptly. This had gone too far. I couldn’t take anymore.

“I’ll show him where it is.” Amber leaped from her seat, grabbed my hand and led me toward the family room.

Once we turned a corner, Amber flung her arms about my neck and planted a kiss on my lips. “I love you so much, Scottie,” she said when she let me up for air. “I’m so happy we worked through our problems. We’re going to be together forever.” She kissed me again, and then skipped off toward the dining room.

I slipped into the bathroom and texted Stu.

Five minutes later, as a salmon dish was being placed in front of us, my cell phone rang. I answered it and feigned shock and dismay to what I heard on the phone although all my little brother said to me was “You owe me for this. I was in the middle of a really awesome guitar solo.”

“I’m so sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan, but apparently my brother missed the last bus and he’s stranded in North Charleston. I have to pick him up.”

After a few handshakes and a couple of reluctant hugs, I was released from that prison-like hell without further interrogation. Thankfully, they weren’t bus riding type people and didn’t realize that the Charleston Area bus system didn’t stop running until 10:50 on Sundays.

***

Stu was on the floor about to burst with laughter when I told him about my evening.

“Do you see this?” he said, pointing to his face. “I’m crying. I’m actually crying. I’ve never heard anything so hysterical in my life.”

Suddenly finding the humor in the whole situation, I joined in the laughter as well.

“But seriously,” I said a few moments later, breaking up the hilarity of the moment. “What am I gonna do? How can I break up with Amber without her going Fatal Attraction on me?”

“Why do you need to break up with her all of the sudden? Just let it end naturally like all your other relationships.”

“What do you mean? How do my relationships usually end?”

“Well,” Stu sat up and crossed his legs Indian style. “You usually date three types of girls. One: the hot gold-digger. She dates you until someone better comes along, then she dumps you and moves on. Two: the hot psycho. She’s completely possessive and drives you crazy from day one, but you stay with her as long as you can because the sex is good. When you can’t take it anymore you get caught making out at a party with another girl and she dumps you. And Three: the hot romantic. She’s completely in love with the idea of you, but once she dates you and realizes you not only have nothing in common but that you’ll never love her as much as she loves you, she cries a little, and then dumps you and moves on.”

“Whoa, you’ve put a lot of thought into this,” I said a little surprised at his summation.

“Reyna and I came up with these categories about a year ago after Savannah and Ashley fought over you in the girls’ bathroom. They were both type twos.”

“Reyna.” I sighed.

“Yeah, Reyna. Now, she’s the kind of girl you should be with. But that’ll never happen.”

“Why not?” I asked, starting to get offended.

He looked at me like I was dumber than a boat made of Corn Flakes, then said, “Because she doesn’t fit into one of the categories.”

I mulled this over for a moment while Stu set up Guitar Hero on the Xbox. I was a walking stereotype. My little brother was able to sum up my love life in like fifty words. And he’d had the help of Reyna of all people. No wonder she wanted nothing to do with me romantically. She would take it as an insult to be my girlfriend.

“Wait a minute,” I said finally. “Why wouldn’t a relationship work with the hot romantic? Why wouldn’t I be able to love her as much as she loved me?” I asked, thinking I’d found a flaw in his reasoning.

“Because you’ll never be able to love any woman as much as you love Reyna,” he said simply as he started strumming to “Dream On” by Aerosmith. “And the sooner you realize that, the happier you’ll be.”

“I do realize it.”

“Seriously?” Stu turned off the game. “All right, Scottie. It’s about time.”

“What do you mean?”

“Scottie, you’ve been in love with her for years.”

“I have?”

“Yes, but you’ve let Sam’s prejudice keep you from acting on your true feelings. What made you finally come around?”

I shrugged. “I guess I started thinking about who would be by my side if I wasn’t a star athlete. Who would still care about me if I never threw another touchdown pass for the rest of my life? Besides you, there was Reyna.” I didn’t want to tell him that the reason I started thinking about this was because lately I thought my body was giving out on me and I feared that a career in sports wouldn’t be in my future.

“So, what’s it like? The whole being in love thing,” he asked.

“It sucks!”

“Ooookaaay. That’s so not what I expected you to say.” Stu sat down Indian style on the floor and waited for me to elaborate.

“Well, it does. It feels like…it feels like an eighteen wheeler is sitting on my chest and the only relief I get is when I’m around her. Then I feel free.”

“Wow. That was equal parts terrifying and beautiful.”

“Exactly,” I said.

No Two Book Fairs are Alike

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Marketing

Last week I had my first book fair at the YALL festival in Charleston, SC and today I had my second at the Savannah Children’s book festival in…well…Savannah. I think the one big thing I’ve learned from these two weekends is that no two book fairs are alike. My experiences were totally different. I think next time, I’ll be prepared for differences in fairs and be more prepared.

For one thing, last weekend was a YA book festival, which meant there were teenagers there shopping as well. I was able to bring all of my books and sold a few of my upper YA books and even one of my adult books. I knew Savannah would be a children’s book festival and would target a younger audience so I planned to only sell my Priscilla the Great series and my Queen Bee series. When I got there, it was clear that The Queen Bee of Bridgeton would be too old for the crowd, so I didn’t even take it out of the suitcase.  Even Priscilla was too old for a lot of the consumers there.

I did manage to sell some books, but I think I would have done so much better if I also had some younger books in order to reach more people. I also wish I had some books aimed at boys. Both last week and this week I had people pass up my book because there was a girl on the cover. While I do have an  idea for a boy book, today I suddenly realized that I already have a book with boys on the cover. My collection of short stories Twin Shorts. It would be super easy to add a few illustrations to it, use a really big font and make it a short soft cover book for some of the little boys that were in between the picture book and chapter books stage. At a price of $5 per book, I have a feeling they would sell like hot cakes. Meanwhile, last week with older kids, I probably could have gotten away with selling my books for $15 each instead of $10.

Last week after selling 26 books, I had high hopes for this week and I wanted to sell 30 books. The last book fair had only about four or five thousand and this one had over 30,000 people there so I thought I would do well. I even raised the prices of my books in expectation. When I got there, I immediately dropped the prices so they would be more in line with my neighbors. The fair started at 10 and by 12 I had only sold 2 books. I was starting to lose hope and decided to start thinking of the weekend as just a great getaway with my husband. I met some great authors and once again made great connections, but I was trying not to think about all the money I was losing. But toward the end of the day, things really started to pick up. I ended up selling 18 books total, a vast improvement over the first two hours.

The highlight of my day had to be using my new credit card reader. Thanks to a suggestion from another author, I went and checked out a website called www.squareup.com. It allows you to download an app to your iPhone and take credit cards. Yes, I was able to accept credit cards on my phone. It was absolutely amazing and I sold 4 books that way. I’m still reveling in its glory. I mean I thought accepting credit cards would be this crazy difficult and expensive thing. Nope, it’s as easy as pushing a button on your iPhone. I love my iPhone.

I chatted a lot with the author next to me and we were able to swap our stories of what worked and what didn’t. She showed me a very nice brochure she had made of herself and told me she had mailed out 500 of them without a single response. This was very disheartening since it is exactly what I had planned on doing. She said that emailing school librarians was much more effective. I guess I’ll go back to that route. Since I’m getting some free brochures though, maybe I’ll try both an email and a mailing for all of the local schools.

Overall, it was a great day. I feel that with each fair I do I learn more and more. They haven’t become real money makers for me or anything, but the experience has been worth the time and effort.

A Sample Press Release

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Uncategorized

A good press release is an integral part of your marketing plan. You should write one for each book you publish and anytime something newsworthy happens in regards to your book. Personally, I always struggle with press releases. I don’t like writing them and I end up putting them off until the newsworthy event isn’t new anymore. If you have the same difficulty, I thought I’d share with you what I wrote for my recent CYBIL nomination:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:
Sybil Nelson

Little Prince Publishing

(301) 385-9788
LittlePrincePublishing@hotmail.com

www.LittlePrincePublishing.com

A CYBIL for Sybil

Charleston, SC, November 17, 2011 — Local author, Sybil Nelson was nominated for a CYBIL (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award) for her Middle Grade Science Fiction book Priscilla the Great ($12.99 Little Prince Publishing.) Other novels nominated in the same category include Cloaked by Alex Flinn, author of Beastly and Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, author of The Lightning Thief.

Priscilla the Great was also voted The Most Hilarious Read of the Year by Booklopedia, it is a Flamingnet Top Choice book, winner of The Strongest Start Competition sponsored by The Next Big Writer, and the movie option for the series has been sold to a California-based production company. Priscilla the Great is currently being used as a “Book Battle” book by Pattonville area public schools in Missouri.

Tiger from All-Consuming Books says:
“Oh, this one’s hilarious. It’s like a Percy Jackson and the Olympians book crossed with a Marvel comic and a really funny episode of iCarly… This book has everything–fantastic action scenes, a cool family, strong best friends, junior-high appropriate romance, superpowers, comedy, and a heroine to root for and adore. Great is definitely the appropriate word for Priscilla.”

Tawni from The Book Worms says:

“I couldn’t stop reading, it was definitely a page turner! I couldn’t help but to connect to Priscilla, because I was wishing I was as awesome as she was when I was in 7th grade! I also laughed out loud multiple times. This book was witty and fun and I recommend it to all ages!”

Sybil Nelson is a Charleston resident and graduate student at the Medical University of South Carolina. Contact her at sybilnelson@hotmail.com for information about speaking engagements and book signings.

The CYBIL Awards!

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Uncategorized

I’ve been nominated! And yes, I think it’s hilarious that the award and I have the same name. I should get extra points for that. Anyway, I’m very proud of this nomination. I remember reading about this award last year when I was investigating marketing. I never thought I’d actually get nominated. I am in excellent company for my category of Middle Grade Science Fiction/Fantasy. Two of the other nominees are Cloaked by Alex Flinn and Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan.

So at this point, the round one judges will be reading my book and if I pass I’ll move on to the short list on New Year’s. And then the winners are announced around Valentine’s Day.

I found out about this nomination because I got an email from one of the coordinators saying that the judges hadn’t been able to find my book in their libraries. So this brings me to my next endeavor. I remember in a post a long time ago I said that I was going to write a letter to every library asking them to stock my book. Well, that was exhausting and it kind of fizzled out. But now I have a new found determination and a more professional way to go about it. For my publishing company, we are working on creating tri-fold brochures that show off our books. We’re going to do a mass mailing of these brochures to as many bookstores as we can. I’m going to do the same thing with my own personal brochure and focus on mailing these to public libraries and school libraries.

These brochures and mailings can get really expensive. One company I looked up charged over $400 to print the brochure and an additional $500 to mail them to the addresses I stipulate. I’m not ready to invest $900 in this. If I see it is really effective, I’ll put up that kind of money later. For now, I’m going to aim smaller…and cheaper. Vistaprint often has sales where you can get 25 brochures for free. I plan on taking advantage of this and just getting 25 brochures at a time and mailing them myself. I figure I can handle mailing off 25 brochures every other week or so.

Basically, I’ve decided to take my marketing to the next level. No one is going to get my name out there but me so I need to get on the ball. Thankfully, I’ll  have a lighter class load beginning in January so I should be able to do more marketing. Here are some of the things I have planned.

Write at least two posts per week on my two blogs.

Tweet at least five times per day.

Mass mailing to libraries (25 at a time)

Write one press release per month

Submit a review book to one major blogger each month

Comment on other blogs at least once a day

Look into radio interviews

Look into advertising or writing articles for teen magazines

In fact, I’ve kind of changed my NanoWriMo project into NanoMarMo…the Mar stands for marketing. Every day I’m spending time planning on how to take my writing career to the next level. I’m actually making a concerted effort to write less and market more. By this time next year, I want to be making $3000 per month in sales. When you think of all the books I have out, that’s not really that much. Soon, I’ll have 10 full novels published. Probably, 11, but let’s go with 10 for now. If I set each eBook at $2.99, I make about $2 on each sale. That means I need 1500 sales to meet that goal. And with ten books, that only means 150 sales of each book. Totally doable. I’m not even including print books, which have been doing pretty well this month.  In Sept., I sold over 1600 with only 8 ebooks. My sales fell off a little after that, but their starting to increase again.

My usually problem with my marketing gimmicks is getting too busy with other things and giving up. So each month I’m going to have to come up with some sort of challenge in order to keep myself motivated.

Sybil

My First Book Fair: Tips and Warnings

Author: sybilnelson  //  Category: Uncategorized

Last Saturday I attended YALL Fest, a new Young Adult book festival right here in Charleston. I wanted to share my experience as a way to get ready for my next festival in Savannah on Saturday.

Pros

I sold 26 books, got lots of signatures for my newsletters, and hopefully made some new fans. I also met another local author and made plans to share expenses for future local book festivals. The highlight of my day was when a little girl named Cora brought her friends over to my table and started raving about the Priscilla the Great series. She said she gets the books from her aunt who knows the author personally. She almost fell over when I told her I was the author. Then she had me autograph anything and everything she could get her hands on. Later she brought her twin sister by and the signing started all over again. It turns out that her aunt is my husband’s coworker who has purchased several books from me for her nieces.

I also made some great connections. Two school teachers asked me to come speak at their schools. One has already emailed me with an order of 10 books.

Cons

The festival was really expensive. It cost $200 to have an exhibitor table. For a few days I thought I had made an $18 profit after selling the 26 books, but then I realized that I hadn’t counted what I paid for the actual books. When I factor that in, it means I actually lost money! So this was a great learning experience for me. I learned to try to come up with all my cost beforehand and perhaps charge more for books. Last Saturday I only charged $10 per book with the hopes of selling a lot. I also charged only $3 for the Priscilla the Great books with the old cover. For the festival coming up in Saturday, here are my projected expenses:

Booth rental – $100

Hotel   -           $40

Books –            $130

Gas –                $50

Extras -            $50

So if I charge $15 per book, I will need to sell 25 books in order to break even. I also plan on giving discounts for multiple purchases such as 2 for $25 and 3 for $35. Maybe that way I can get more sales. To make sure this happens, I’m going to use the money I’ve allotted for extras and buy some incentives. I plan on making a basket of goodies and giving it away to one customer. Anyone who buys something will be entered to win. Since it is a children’s book festival, I plan on having some candy available in order to lure the children over to my table.

What do you need if you’re planning to attend a book fair? This is a list of things that I had which I found very helpful. Most of these things I gave away for free or added to the bag when someone bought something. I collected all these items for next to nothing by taking advantage of the Vistaprint sales.

2 Banners with my company’s name

Free Tshirts

Bookmarks

Postcards

Notepads

Sticky notes

Pens

Bags (for putting in purchased products)

All of these items really helped me look professional and added to the shopping experience for the customer. I’ll let you know Monday if I actually get my 25 sales.