Monday, August 21, 2017

The 10 Con Commandments (for Exhibiting Authors)

A post by Mary Fan
Many authors choose to exhibit their books at conventions and other events as a way of reading new readers. I've lost count of how many cons I've gone to over the past four years, and I've seen a lot of fellow exhibiting authors fail to meet a certain level of... basic etiquette. 

So here are 10 Con Commandments to follow:
  1. Thou shalt not interrupt a fellow author while they are pitching their book to a customer.
  2. Thou shalt socialize with fellow authors when the dealer's room/exhibit hall is dead. It gets boring in there.
  3. Thou shalt offer to watch a fellow author's table so they might run to the bathroom or obtain food.
  4. Thou shalt tell a fellow author if there's an issue with their display (slipping posters, tipping books, etc.).
  5.  Thou shalt not walk around to other authors' tables to sell them your book, for they are here to sell their books, and thou art wasting their time and costing them potential opportunities to pitch passing customers. Especially if thou dost not haveth thy own table.
  6. Thou shalt not block a fellow author's table, even if thou art there to chat with the author. Stand to the side.
  7. Thou shalt not badmouth any aspect of a fellow exhibiting author's book.
  8. Thou shalt share tips for setting up display; there is no sense in being weird about it when a fellow author asks where you got your cool poster or book rack.
  9. Thou shalt recommend thy fellow authors' works where possible. For instance, when thou hast finished a sale, direct the customer to also check out thy neighbor's works. Or if the customer stops and chats but is not interested in your genre, but may be interested in thy neighbor's genre.
  10. THOU SHALT NOT POACH ANOTHER AUTHOR'S CUSTOMER. When a potential customer stops by an author's table, thou shalt not engage this customer until that author is done pitching their book. Thou shalt not attempt to direct the customer's attention to thy own book instead. AUTHORS WHO POACH FROM FELLOW AUTHORS BURN IN A SPECIAL CIRCLE OF HELL.


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

These should be engraved in a tablet. Preach!

Unknown said...

So true, so true. Needs to be circulated as a sign-in agreement sheet at every con!

Carrie Beckort said...

It's amazing people don't get this. Like you said - BASIC! It's not a competition and we should be supporting each other.

Brenda St John Brown said...

I've not done a signing at a conference yet, but this seems like basic human decency? Especially #10! How do people not know this?

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