1. A big sign with the book cover is helpful to loan to the store before the event, and it may be worth the investment to get two because a new book requires lots of appearances. One place to get a sign made is Kinkos. They can scan your book cover and make an excellent quality sign, and a great sign draws attention in store windows and generates sales. Be sure to tell store employees that you want your sign back because if you don't, someone may glue things to it, or worse, toss the sign away when the event is over.
2. Offer giveaways. My friend Kathy Gehrt always brings lavender chocolate to set out on her table. I made recipe postcards with the book's image on the front, and details about the book (publisher, year, blog) on the back. I also have postcards that have the books cover image on the front and 5 tips for selecting seasonal produce on the back. In addition to postcards, I also print copies of recipes I'm making if I'm doing a demo. Or I have freshly baked hazelnut biscotti (a recipe from my book). And maybe this weekend, I'll bring some Holmquist chocolate covered hazelnuts.
3. Host a drawing or contest. Off to the side of my display is a box where people leave their name, address and contact number for a chance to win a free cookbook. If I was rich I'd give away books all day long because it's fun to make people smile and brighten their days. Maybe I'm supposed to be concerned about book sales and serious promotion, but giving books away is just plain fun. In fact, I liked it so much, I thought up a contest for my blog.
Check it out, and discover another way to snag a free copy of my book.
Don't forget to advertise your event on FaceBook, a Web site or blog. And about a week prior to the event, contact the demo coordinator at events--to verify that you'll be there. And afterwards send a written thank you note. Sending thank you cards is a lost art but if you do this, you'll be remembered more favorably and isn't that what you want when you're trying to sell books?
Go forth and sell books but don't forget to say thank you to all those who help you along the way.