Fabulous day with books and authors

On Saturday, we had our Book Fair in Swindon, which I organised, along with great support from the Swindon Mechanics Institute Trust, and their Community Outreach Officer, Dan Fishlock.

Here is the blog I wrote about setting this up:


The doors of the Central Community Centre were to open at 11 am and by 10.30 am, we were all ready, set up and waiting for people to visit.

In the end we had eleven authors, who filled the room perfectly.  One of two of the authors had not been involved in a book fair before, so it was an interesting out for them.  And I’m glad to say, one that everyone seemed to have enjoyed.

Despite doing lots of social media sharing and shouting about it from everywhere we could, we didn’t have a deluge of visitors, but we had a fair footfall, and I think everyone in the room sold at least 4 or 5 books, which having been at other book fairs in the past, isn’t too bad. 

Visitors to the fair had a good range of books to explore. We had two authors who write about the history of Swindon – one for children and one for adults.  Then we had 4 other writers who also write children’s books, and everyone else wrote adult fiction, which ranged from romantic thrillers, romantic historical fiction, a detective series, 2 who dunnit series, rom coms and contemporary suspenseful fiction.

All of the authors commented afterwards about how lovely it was to be able to talk to readers, and have conversations about books and what people enjoyed.

My husband accompanied me for the day, and was his first book fair too. At one point, we talked to a couple for ages about their visit to America and about race relations which was fascinating. Afterwards they bought our autobiography, which is. Although not about race relations, our story is about a mixed-race, mixed age relationship which many people questioned would work.

I also had a lovely senior gentleman visit my stall, who told me he had read all about me online, stopped and had a lovely chat, and bought a book. When I logged on to my Facebook author profile after the weekend, I suddenly realised who he was, and that he had been following me for some time.  It was lovely that he took the time to say hello.

When the book fair ended, six of us stayed on for the Meet the Author event.

We didn’t have a big audience, but those we did have, joined in and asked and answered questions during the Q & A sections.  I invited my best friend, Fiona Scott, to interview us, and be in charge or asking the audience questions, and aiming them to different authors.  Fiona is a trained journalist and has run her own PR and Media company for many years, and when I launched my debut novel last year, she interviewed me and then opened up questions from the audience. It worked brilliantly then, and on Saturday.

As one of the authors involved, it was great fun, and there was a great deal of laughter.

The most successful outcome from the whole event was – a whole range of authors, who would not have met otherwise, were thrown together, and have now made the acquaintance of the those in the room.  We are hoping that the authors interested will meet up again, and then we can plan for a bigger, better event next year. 

We already have a list of other authors, who couldn’t be involved this year, because they were otherwise engaged, but we have also gathered other names too.  If you know a published author who is looking to get their name out there in the area, please put them in touch.