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Carolyn HowardJohnson

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Los Angeles Book Fair--Be There Even if You Can't
Tuesday, November 14, 2006  10:16:00 AM

by Carolyn HowardJohnson

Home-bound authors can too promote at the nation's most pretigious book fair! Put the power of the LA Times behind your book promotion. Reach out to celbrities, producers, directors and, yes, readers!

Come Join Us! LA Times Festival of Books Is A' Coming!

Dear Authors Den Visitors,

You are invited to participate in our next LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books booth--the one in April of 2007.

This year we are combining the offer with an opportunity to also exhibit at the West Hollywood Book Fair in September of 2007 Frequency, after all, is the golden guideline for great promotion.

This year you can have your book displayed F R^ E ^E. by participating in other value-added promotions (both the CD effort and the Catalog) associated with the fair. There are many ways to be a part of our efforts, though! See below for details.

Many of you have been asking about plans for the next LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books. Here they are:

Authors' Coalition will again be sponsoring a double booth at the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books booth on April 28 and 29 of 2007. As many of you know from this blog (http://redenginepress/chjohnson) and from past experience, we make changes every year based on what we learned the year before and the year before that.

Last year we opened the fair booth to authors who live outside the LA area. That worked very well. Such participation includes possiblities for display, in the catalog, in the CD offering, the tote and more (an author must participate in the signing segment to actually sell books, however.) Those of you without travel budgets thought it was a great way to have your books exposed at a prestigious venue in a different part of the country. That we limited the number of books accepted meant that each featured book was displayed well (see below for details).

This year we are also making some changes. Please keep reading to find out!

The LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books

X The booth will most likely be in the same excellent spot on the UCLA campus as it was last year. It was in a highly trafficed area, I might add.

X It will be a double booth where readers can browse inside the booth, touch and peruse your book. That is a much larger booth that most booths as the fair.

X Display: Those books accepted for display will be shown on a bookstand, not tossed into a bin with thousands of others. The display area will be lighted. There will be a place for each participant to have a flier 4 x 5 3/4 and, give-away bookmarks or business cards--any two of the three. They may also supply laminated signs with grommets to be hung around the perimeter of the booth.

X You may have your book displayed at no cost in the West Hollywood Bookfest as well as the LA Times Book Festival a with purchase of the value-added catalog and CD (see details below).

X No books will be sold out of the booth except by signing authors.

X Those who do not wish to participate in both the catalog and the CD can choose one or the other and still purchase booth display for $60 per event (Los Angeles and West Hollywood). Based on our experience in prior years, we recommend all participants pay to be included in the catalog and CD. See the entries in this blog. Participants used the blog that as a journal of our experiences last year. It was an ideal way to keep a record but also to share with other writers who might be planning a fair booth elsewhere. It is at

Signing Segments at Fair Also Available:

Local authors or authors willing to travel may purchase one hour segments of signing time. Signings will be posted in the booth (Sorry, but the LA Times Festival of Books administration does not provide a way to list multiple authors in the brochures, etc. that the LA Times sends out. Thus signing authors will be responsible for their own promotions including media releases and invitations to drive traffic to their signing.)

One hour signing segments cost $140 for the first and $100 for a second hour. The fee includes display in the booth for the full two days. If you choose to sign, we strongly recommend that participants consider the stands and banners we tested last year to make their signing times a standout. (Information on these amazingly-effective stands to come!) All signing positions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

X Gift with Purchase: We have books to give away free with purchase of books while supplies last by those signing (at no additional cost to participating authors) but we will be pleased to accept books in quantity as giveaways from participants and others for this purpose as well. We think donating books is a wonderful way to utilize damaged books, overstock, etc. Books in the hands of readers bear more fruit than books stowed in a closet.

Disposal of Fair Materials: Books and promotion materials will not be returned. Display books will be donated to a library after the LA or West Hollywood Fair.

The Catalog

Based on last year's success, we are offering a catalog again this year. This is a cross-promotional effort . Those who participate are expected to contribute names of bookstores in their area and to follow up with phone calls to the book buyers after the catalog goes out. That's what makes this super-successful, the personal contact with the buyers who then pay special attention to the catalog so that all participants -- regardless of the area they live in -- benefit. Participants also benefit from their name being associated with a prestigious fair. Prices are:

1/8 page: $125
1/4 page: $250
1/2 page: $500
Full page: $1000.

These prices include:
ad set up (layout),
ad space,
postage to book buyers and press contacts.
pdf copy of the booklet that each participant may produce (print) on their own to use at their own events throughout the year.

You can see how this cross promotion could snowball. We only ask that no changes be made to the catalog and that it be given away, not sold. If there is a demand for printing, we may also offer that service.

Non-members of Authors Coalition or those not participating in the full program, please add $20 to cover your membership.

Catalog Details

X A sample catalog from last year is available on request.

X Authors may participate only in this catalog or in combination with some of the others programs offered.

X Those who participate in the catalog and the CD program will be displayed in booths at both the LA Times booth (April 2007) and the West Hollywood Bookfest (fall of 2007) at no cost. We are offering value-added programs, using the fair itself as a credibility builder.

X The costs listed are for paid members of Authors' Coalition. To support our sponsor, Authors Coalition, all participants who are not members will be asked to pay $20 for a basic membership fee.

X Participation in this catalog is limited.

X This catalog will be sent out to at least 500 bookstore buyers and Los Angeles press contacts by mail.

X This catalog will be circulated by e-mail to bookstores for which we have e-addresses. Participating authors will be encouraged to supply addresses.

X This catalog will be circulated to bookstores personally selected by the participants as well as others.

X Those who wish to list more than one book in this catalog will receive a 10% discount on the 2nd ad, 20% on the third.

The CD

We are offering a promotional CD again this year.

X The CD ROM includes:
book titles
book covers
author biographies
review of books
stories or excerpts
from each participating author.

X Authors' Coalition will burn 1,000 (or more, depending on participation) to be given to visitors and the press corps at the fair.

X This year authors will be able to purchase additional CDs to send to their own press contacts or readers or to use throughout the year.

X They will also have the right to make copies on their own to distribute at events as give-aways at no extra charge. We ask only that no changes be made to content. Therefore, each author who participates must see that this kind of cross-promotion will benefit them and be willing to let their CD partners distribute the CDs at will. In other words, participants who actively promote with the CD will continue to benefit themselves and others.

X These CDs will include professional design on each disc.

X There will be a small additional fee to cover webmaster's time for any authors who wish to include multiple books.

CD Cost:

X A: $200 fee includes
webmaster fees
CDs and sleeves
right to produce additional CDs.

We will produce a minimum of 1,000.

X Additional CDs (a service for those unable to burn their own for future use), $ shipping and handling for 50. Graduated discounts are available.

Tote Program

Last year we found fair-goers were extremely receptive to free bags. This year we plan to have a tote promotion. Details will depend on the participation level.

X We envision totes that are roomy enough for their book purchases and designed so that imprinted bookcovers on the sides will be easily visible to fair-goers.

X We prefer a canvas tote.

X We think six to eight book covers pictures may be imprinted on each side of the bag but that will also be determined depending on the rate of participation.

X Cost will be determined by the number of participants and the number of bags we produce. The cost for bags goes down as the quantity increases.

X Because bags become cheaper as the production number rises and because we realize that the more exposure they get, the more all benefit, we would like to make bags available for participants year round, for them to use at any event they participate in. You can see that your book would be exposed to readers even at fairs and events at which you have no other presence.
Based on last years outcome, we have decided not to provide a bag-stuffing program raffle.

No refunds can be given for inclement weather.

Participation in these fairs and the associated promotions are limited.


Follow the fair plans at my blog assoicated with Authors' Coaltion. The address is

Submitted by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Founder, Authors' Coalition

This is the Place

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