Wyoming Arts Council

Join Wyoming Writers and go to trade show

The summer issue of the Wyoming Writers, Inc., newsletter brings information about the region’s biggest publishing trade show, held each year in Colorado. In a bit of unfortunate timing, it’s being held the same weekend (Sept. 17-20) as the Equality State Book Festival in Casper. As a member of the bookfest planning committee, it’s my duty to promote that over any other event. But if you haven’t been to the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association trade show, you’re missing a great opportunity to promote your books and learn about the marketing end of the business.

Wyoming Writers, Inc., continues its presence at the show. Long-time WWI member John D. Nesbitt of Torrington usually organizes this and attends the show. But he’ll be a bookfest presenter this year. Here are excerpts of an article he wrote for the summer newsletter:

The Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA) trade show will take place at The Crowne Plaza hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sept. 17-20 of this year, and once again Wyoming Writers, Inc., will have a display booth.

Our main day of activity will be Saturday, September 20. In past years, the trade show took place in Denver. This year, the event will be in a new location and will have a new schedule. Our part in the exhibit will take place on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The MPIBA trade show focuses on exhibiting and displaying books. The emphasis is on promotion, with very little taking place in the way of direct sales. Most exhibitors are publishers, and they come from all over the country. Some writers’ organizations also have exhibits. At the Wyoming Writers booth, we will display books and anthologies by writers in our organization. We will also hand out folders with promotional material inside. The folders get handed out to people who go through the exhibits—mainly booksellers and distributors. For Wyoming Writers members who participate in person, it is a good opportunity to promote one’s work at the same time that we promote the organization as a whole. Members who do not participate in person can still be represented in the folder.

This is a good opportunity to have your work promoted whether you attend or not. Although some participants do get the opportunity to promote their work individually, our central purpose at MPIBA is to promote Wyoming Writers, Inc., in general as an organization and as an idea. The more visible we are, the more the bookselling and reading world knows that there are serious, active writers in Wyoming. MPIBA puts our organization, our writers, and even our state in the regional and national arena. People remember our exhibit, and they remember those of us who run the booth.

For personal participation, this event is especially good for anyone who has a new or recent book or who has a publishing or bookselling enterprise.

Ann Heberlein has agreed to be in charge of the exhibit. If you cannot participate in person but have promotional material on anything that carries your writing—one or more books, an anthology, or whatever—send as many as 120 copies to Ann Heberlein by September 10, and your material will be included in the folders handed out to interested passersby. Your promotional material may consist of post cards, bookmarks, cover flats, brochures, or flyers. If you compose your own material, be sure to include basic ordering information such as ISBN, price, publisher, and distributor (if the book is not already handled by a national distributor). Also, include full contact information about yourself (address, phone number, e-mail address, fax, website). If you self-publish, you may also want to state your discount prices, shipping policy, and return policy.

Contact information:

Ann Heberlein
5121 East 12th St.
Casper, WY 82609
(307) 237-0003 (home)
(307) 473-6802 (work)

Reminder: We need badge requests by about September 3, and Ann needs display copies and folder materials by September 10. Earlier is better, of course. If you would like to know more about the trade show or MPIBA, you may go to the website at http://www.mountainsplains.org/

This also is a great opportunity to join WWI. Not only can you promote your books at the trade show, but you receive the newsletter, get discount rates for the annual conference, and have a ready-made group of writing peers across the state and region. Regular membership is $25 annually, with students paying $10. Get more info on membership by e-mailing membership@wyowriters.org.

P.S.: Both blog editors are members of Wyoming Writers, Inc.

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