I’ve been increasing the number of book festivals and other festivals that I’ve been attending to do book signings. Some are very successful for me. Some I just barely break even at, and others, are complete flops.
The flops can be soul crushing, but I have come to realize something as I’ve increased my appearances. The number of pages views of my books and online sales increase after a festival, even a festival that’s been a failure. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’ll go back to the flop festivals. However, it does make attending the break even festivals more attractive to continue attending.
Another benefit that I’ve found in attending these festivals is that I get leads and offers for speaking engagements. These speaking engagements are always successful. Even if I don’t get paid a stipend for speaking, I sell my books afterwards.
A third benefit to these festivals is that I sometimes get leads for future story ideas.
On the flip side, festivals take up a lot of time and cost money to attend. This summer, I have a festival every other weekend, on average. The costs definitely add up as I do more festivals.
Overall, I think writers should definitely be putting themselves out there in the public and doing book signings at festivals where your potential readers attend. Just remember that sometimes the best festivals aren’t book festivals. You may find a craft or street fair that draws in a lot of people who like your books.