There are more author fairs out there than you know, which is the main problem: You don’t know about them. Marketing is often spotty so by the time you hear about one, the event is over or they’re no longer taking applications. You’re going to want to have some time to prepare and arrange your schedule.
Here is where your networking skills will really help. Making friends with other authors is a great way to learn about the events that you will want to be a part of as well as the ones to avoid. Bring up the subject when networking face-to-face or when being social on social media.
If you don’t get enough information from authors with whom you already network, try looking at the websites of authors who live in your area. They may have an event calendar that says where they will be or they may have posted photos showing where they have been. If you don’t know any local authors, try googling the name of your town or state with the word “author.”
You can also google “author fair,” “literary fair” and similar terms. Remember that while the internet is smarter than you know, it’s not as smart as you think. If your hometown library calls it a “Book Event,” you won’t find it by searching with “Author Fair.” You’ll need to experiment a bit. And don’t forget to search with the names of any surrounding towns close enough to travel to or where you might be visiting on vacation.
You can also set up a Google Alert that will look for news about “Author Fairs” or whatever terms you want to use. You can get an email notice when Google has found something that matches your search. But again, the problem will be that author fair marketing is usually poor, so it may be too late for you to use – at least THIS year. Note it on your calendar to get involved for next year.
When you’re searching online, you will probably find more information that reports on LAST year’s event rather than marketing news for THIS year’s event. Since author fairs are often held annually, call the organizers a few months in advance of when the event might be held and ask how you can take part.
Yes, it will take a little effort on your part, but you can’t wait for someone to discover you and issue an invitation. Most author fair coordinators are happy to have new faces at their events. If you are honestly excited to be at their fair, they will be honestly thrilled to host you!