Chapter 66 Playing Paper Dolls with My Booth Layout Grid

I’ll be exhibiting and selling books at a book fair for the second time in February:


This show is larger than the one I did in Sacramento in September. Their website currently lists 166 exhibitors. The fair is also one week before the Los Angeles ABAA book fair, so I hope for a good turnout with lots of buying activity. (Yes, I am always this optimistic. I don’t know any better.) I’m trying to think ahead about what will attract visitors to stop and look at my books. The venue in Sacramento was small, so book fair customers had time to walk by and look at all booths. By contrast, the San Francisco fair venue is quite large and spread out. Unless a person plans to spend all day there, he won’t get to every booth. He’ll have to pick and choose the booths in which he stops and browses. I need to make certain my booth makes a customer want to stop and browse.

You may have read my earlier posts on planning booth layout before September’s fair here and here. You might have thought, “Well, it’s her first book fair. It’s natural for her to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how to display her books.” Now it’s my second book fair, and I’m doing it again — obsessing over booth layout and book display, that is. This time, my obsession is being encouraged by the show organizer. Look what I got in the mail over the weekend:


I can cut out the little scale models of booth equipment and lay them on the grid and experiment with different layouts! I haven’t had this much fun since I played with paper dolls as a kid. All sorts of interesting set-ups are possible. I can’t wait to cut these out and go over them with my booth-mate and fellow Colorado Seminar classmate, Jeanne Jarzombek of The Book Prowler.

The show organizer even sent a sketch of the actual walls of the booth and a complete list of everything inside:

This is going to be fun! I can’t wait until I get to choose which books will be displayed face out and which will be displayed spine out. Mostly, I can’t wait until I can hand-sell some more books and visit with other booksellers and book lovers.

Mark your calendar for February 9 and 10 if you live near or are visiting San Francisco. I’ll see you at the book fair!

1 Comment

Filed under Book Fairs

One response to “Chapter 66 Playing Paper Dolls with My Booth Layout Grid

  1. Sounds like a lot of work but since you are turning it into a game it will seem more like fun.

    After hauling about 400 cartons of books from my purchase point to storage point I don’t envy you. (I lost count – Never was good at math. I’m better at reading)

    Halfway through moving the books I thought I should have bought a cotton ball collection. I figured an entire styrofoam peanut factory would have been lighter.

    May you come home empty handed and not, when you get home, have feelings like you traded your firstborn for filthy lucre.

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