5 Tips and Tricks to Sell Your Books: Tip #5

5 Tips to help you sell your books at a market. Tip #5: Displays

I would like to start off by thanking all of you who have read my posts in this series. I know you have valuable things to do and you did not have to read it, so again, thank you.

Without further preamble or whatnot:

TIP #5: Displays

While the following is intended for markets and book fairs, it can also be useful at book signings. Think about when you walk into a book store what they do. They have far more books than you, but they try to display as many as possible in such a way that you see them, even if you don’t look at them.

So here are four things that I learned:

  • Flat books mean flat sales. If people can’t see the books, then they are not drawn to them. Buy book stands or small shelves. Get your books up and facing people. I recently went to a yard sale and bought a small wire book display rack. Now the books were standing, people were more willing to pick them up and look at them. I put the same book on the rack and flat on the table; we sold the books on the rack, and none on the table!
  • Put down cloth to brighten up often beat up and dirty tables. Bring objects that will attract people to look at them. One member brings stuffed animals (not for sale) that go with the animals in her books.
  • Volume sells. If there is only one book left, for some reason, people will rarely look at it, especially if they are laying flat. No joke! Put 3 books in a pile and you can sell 2. Put 13 in a pile and you can sell 12. Book racks are the anomaly. For some reason, people will buy books on a rack, even singles.
  • Keep them above the knees. People don’t like to bend down to look at things. Keep them up at least above the knees, but waist height is better. Racks and shelves on tables bring books up to adult eye height, but away from kids. Understand who is buying and looking at your books.


A good display helps draw people in, it lets them see the merchandise, handle the merchandise and make it more likely that they will buy something.

Again, don’t be afraid to change things up. Sometimes the lighting changes and moving stuff helps. A book that sold last time up front does better in the back. A book that drew people in at the last event doesn’t do the same thing at your current one. Make small changes by what you see people looking at and what they aren’t. Moving that book that no one is looking at up front might be the book that ends up drawing people in.

So, the next time (or the first time) that you are off to sell your books, I hope that you can use some of these Tips and Tricks to help you be successful.

I would like to think all my PALS friends at SCBWI for giving me the time to learn how to sell my future book(s…hopefully). Your advice, expertise and friendship is greatly appreciated.

Author: matthewlasley

I am a school teacher and an author. I like to write picture books, middle grade, science fiction and short stories. I live in Alaska and I love history, so those two things often influence my creative writing.

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