The Case of the Colossal Book Festival

Place: Tucson, Campus of University of Arizona

Tuscon-Festival-of-BooksDate: March 14 & 15, 2015
Case: Festival of Books
Case #: 03-14-1515

Description of event:

  1. Huge – really huge!
  2. Sunshine with windy periods
  3. 120,000+ readers (per event brochure)
  4. 7000+ books for sale (per estimate, stopped counting at 217)

    a. Every fiction and non-fiction genre available

Suspects, players, readers, authors, etc.

1. Thanks to BookGoodies for providing space to display books, book bags with swag, good location, and shade.
2. Personal thanks to the many seasoned authors that provided helpful information about book promotion.
3. Stuff to manage that increase book sales.

a. Reviews

i. They test your patience. It is a slow but necessary process.
ii. 20% of review requests might actually produce a review.
iii. The goal is to receive enough Amazon reviews to the open doors to promotional services. Some promotional services require ten 4-star reviews.
The big players need twenty, or more, 4-star reviews.

b. Impact of eBooks

i. Many readers took a bookmark with the promise of buying the eBook (I can’t imagine carrying twenty books through out the festival in the hot sun).

1. I had a small up-tick in eBook sales after show.

c. Bookmarks

i. Every author has a bookmark.
ii. A reader told me she did not need another. (I gave her a button).
iii. Regardless of the promotional material, be sure the reader can get back to the booth or your website.

1. Comparing the space occupied by my book to the size of the show is similar to a raindrop falling in one of the Great Lakes.

Crime Description:

Did not sell a single book!
Below I am speculating the cause:

1. The ease of buying an eBook.
2. Readers do not want to carry heavy books.
3. Readers could not find booth after cruising the show.
4. They found a different book.
5. Atmosphere was very relaxed, more like a family outing than book shopping.
6. My book promotion skills need improvement.

NOTE: Established authors with three or more books to sell also sold zero books.

But, four books are being placed in book clubs. (Major score!)



BAheadshotAndean White
– Author of Heroic Fantasy
Twitter: @AndeanWhite

As a young boy at family gatherings, I recall listening to the men after a meal. The opinions around the subjects of politics, car brands, hippies, and rock n roll filled the room with energy like aromatic smoke from a pipe. But, when the story telling began everyone found a seat or patch of floor. We sat for hours absorbing the stories, fact or fiction, that shaped who we became and it strengthened our imaginations. Fifty years later I know that a world without imagination would be pretty boring.

Winter’s Thief is the first of a four book series. Soft cover books available at your favorite Internet bookstore, or at the website The e-book version is available at

Author: Andean White

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment