Should you try to sell your books when you go to book conferences and festivals? Of course you should. But that shouldn't be all you're doing. Conferences are great places to network with other authors. Take advantage of it!
The first conference I attended three years ago was the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together (RAGT) near Cincinnati, Ohio. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and I admit I was a slightly overwhelmed. Little did I know I'd be sitting in a sea of over 500 people and I didn't know a single one of them. Luckily, I'm not all that shy, so I walked up to a table of complete strangers and introduced myself.
I've been to several conferences and festivals since. Some focused on the romance genre. Others were more general. But I can honestly say that I've never walked away from a conference without gaining some bit of knowledge or making a connection.
A perfect example of this was when I attended the Romance Novel Convention last year. I ran into another author and we started talking. What began as a small conversation ended up including a late lunch with some other authors and a more detailed discussion on marketing. I learned, and still learn, so much from that one connection I made. Did I sell a ton of books at the conference itself? No. But the marketing information I picked up from her and all the other authors I met helped me immensely.
This past weekend I attended the Ohioana Book Festival. This was my fourth year at the event. I never sell many books there. Its not really geared toward romance readers. But I enjoy sharing my knowledge with up and coming writers and learning from others who have been writing for years.
If you go to a book conference, take the time to learn from those around you. Most authors are more than willing to give some free advice.
What is the best advice you've received from another author? It could be at a conference or even through social media.