Dayton Book Expo
On April 29, 2017, I attended the 7th Annual Dayton Book Fair in Dayton, Ohio. This was a notable experience as this was my first book expo I attended. Despite my first book published last summer, I felt that this year was an excellent opportunity to promote my book personally in a different market. After attending the Expo, I wanted to share my experience with my readers.
Despite some of the turmoil and adversity present in my life this year, I decided to take a new approach towards life, which is to have minimal expectations on performance. I am confident as to who I am as a person; however, to go into a whole new experience and place expectations where you do not have much of a gauge to use can create additional pressure and stress into whatever it is you are attempting to accomplish. I desired to maintain an open mind and be vigilant of my observations of the crowd and other authors. In my opinion, I did not fear failure, because the process of completing a book and participating in an expo to promote my brand is considered a success despite the number of books sold or overall foot traffic I received at my table.
Observing and interacting with other authors was rewarding. I have to admit, I do need to get better at remembering names, but it is interesting to hear another person’s journey into writing, whether it is creative, non-fiction, or historical. Everyone has a story to tell, and to hear how some got to this point validates my efforts because many of us there had a full-time job, family responsibilities, or some other reasons why he or she did not have to do this, but did so. Therefore, if anyone who is reading this who participated in the Expo, remember, this: It is easier not to do something than to do anything that can further yourself as a person. This anecdote holds true whether you are striving to become a best-seller, a renowned author, or writing books as a hobby.
Being one of over a hundred authors promoting his or her book can be an intimidating ordeal for those who have never experienced this environment before. I believe that regardless of your background and expertise, you will likely encounter feelings of doubts, uncertainty, and some levels of anxiety. Despite my experience in presenting in front of vice presidents, administrators, and other corporate types, the first approach by a stranger where you have no idea what that individual’s preferences or mindset may be is a challenge. At the same time, I found the challenge to be somewhat exciting as it was an unknown where I did not know what the outcome would be after my sales pitch.
Throughout the late afternoon through evening hours, I was able to observe other authors and took note of their very creative tables, giveaways, and props used in a collective effort to lure one of the hundreds in attendance to the table to provide an extension of the author’s branding efforts. Even though I am a rookie in the entire process, I am not sure if there is a precise method to the madness. From what I was able to observe, I did take mental note of some ideas I may borrow in future Expos.
The authors were engaging and there was an electric energy in the air with the activity between the tables. Although the weather in Dayton was ugly throughout the weekend, the enthusiasm never changed. As stated before, I did not have any set goals coming into the Expo, and because of this simple mindset, I felt that I accomplished several things in the process: networking, learning how to market my book, improving my sales pitch, and improving my active listening skills. Many nuances are present when trying to sell a book to a stranger and convincing him or her that the book is a good fit for the customer. Despite some near sales, I still found the experience as rewarding and well with the trip from St. Louis to Dayton, Ohio.
As always, thank you for taking the time out to read my blog. For those who are new readers, curious about the content I provide, please continue to follow my blogs as I attempt to provide unique and engaging commentary on a variety of topics. Finally, I would like to congratulate the raffle winners who won either an Amazon gift card or a personalized autographed copy of my book: Mary Allen, Brian Schnell, Twana Young, Eugenia Gum, Erica Clark, and Pamela Fair.
Dr. Terrence D. Duncan holds a Doctorate of Business Administration and is employed as a Divisional Director of Safety and Worker's Compensation for a private skilled nursing rehab company. He has authored several blogs in healthcare, personal development, and self-motivation. His first book published, The Four Fits of Holistic Growth, is available on Amazon, Kindle, Createspace, and other media platforms. The Four Fits is a book that encourages readers to think outside the book in four areas: Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Financial, complete with 15 worksheets to help the reader's overall growth. Dr. Duncan can be followed on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.