Last month at Liberty Con, I received so many compliments and questions about my table display in the Author’s Alley that it seemed prudent to compile all my answers in a blog post. So, without further ado, here’s my basic display:
And here are my answers to the oft-repeated question:
Where’d you get that/those…?
I did not expect my bookrack to be the belle of the ball (er, Author’s Alley), but when one displays at a convention that is approximately 1000% authors, many of them indie, I guess that’s bound to happen.
Like most everything I own, this sweet baby came from Amazon: 4-Tiered 18” Wire Rack for Tabletop Use, 2.5” Open Shelves, with Header – Black 119362 (ASIN B018V6XAYM)*.
I’ve been using it for a little under a year and have been quite pleased with it. It’s sturdier than it looks, quick and easy to set up, and holds our 6” x 9” x 1.25ish” books well. At roughly $30, it’s not a bad price, either. My one complaint against it is that, for us, the length-wise fit is a little snug. It’s not tight enough to cause easy damage to the books, but enough to make one slightly nervous when a customer tries to put one back on their own. You’ll also want to keep the box it comes in for transport; though the legs are sturdy once set up, they flail like a muppet before set up.
*Unfortunately at the time of this post, the 4-Tiered version is unavailable, but then brief unavailability is almost a marketing strategy at Amazon. It’ll come back. However, if you’re looking for the 6-Tiered version, you’re in luck! (I have no experience with this one, though, so comment below if you have.)
Now that we have 6 books out, these lovelies have been wonderful for expressing the gist of each title, and if the bookrack was the belle of the ball, the lollipops were its date.
I can’t take credit for the name; that brilliance goes to Dave Schroeder, but that’s absolutely what I’m calling them now.
As for where I got them: ME. I just whipped them up in Adobe InDesign, printed them out on cardstock, laminated them, and cut them out myself. If you’d like to make some for yourself, I’ve attached various files for your use below.
Blank PDF: Lollipops PDF
I design our banner displays myself and have www.858graphics.com produce the finished banner. We paid a not-insubstantial sum for our 3’ by 8’ roll-up display (roughly $350 plus tax and shipping), but considering the attention it draws to our table, it’s more than paid for itself. The banner is huge but rolls up fairly easily and comes with its own carrying case. (I say fairly easily because you have to be extra careful about holding the banner straight when you lower it down into its base, lest it brush against the side and potentially damage itself. But that mostly comes down to user error, not production quality.)
858 Graphics also earns a special Customer Service mention:
We rush-ordered our banner for The Wizard’s Way close to Anime Weekend Atlanta last year, but a few days before the con, the box arrived at our local UPS center…empty, with absolutely no record or idea of where the banner inside had gone. I called 858 Graphics to check in about that, and they’d literally been on the case before I even called, printed and rushed a new banner at shipping cost only, all in less than 2 days, and such that it arrived literally 2 hours before we were set to leave for AWA. Now that’s service!
4) Bookmarks, Business Cards, Postcards, etc.?
I design all of our promo materials, too, but all of our printing is done through www.gotprint.com, usually on paper type “14 pt. Gloss Coated Cover (C2S) with High Gloss UV” for that shiny flair. They offer a huge variety of print products (and downloadable templates) at very reasonable prices, especially for the quality. We’ve never been disappointed with them.
5) Bookmark, Business Card, Postcard, etc. Holders?
Literally just went to Office Depot and grabbed something cheap-but-professional-looking and probably on sale. I couldn’t find the particular ones I bought on their website, but any business card holder without sides should do the trick. They hold all of our paper promo materials equally well.
I design our buttons, too, and have www.purebuttons.com produce them. We’ve always been pleased with them as well. Like Got Print, they offer detailed downloadable templates for you to use when designing your buttons, and they also print runs as small as 50 1.5” square buttons for approximately 55 cents a button (one of our previous orders). Cost, of course, will vary widely by button size, type, print run size, etc., but for author purposes, that’s a very reasonable price.
They also offer a number of other products – magnets, key chains, coasters, etc. – but we haven’t tried any of these yet. Again, if you have, comment below with your thoughts!
7) Book Easels?
Also Amazon: Gibson Holders Two Wire Display Stand, Set of 2, Black (6A-B) (ASIN B000RO6CEC)! They’re pretty simple and durable, so there’s not much to say about them except that they get the job done and fold up well.
Ok, no one actually asked about this at Liberty Con since I never had reason to use it, but I have been asked about it at other cons before. Here’s a pic of it in action at A.A.R.C. this past weekend:
It’s listed rather clunkily on Amazon as LinenTablecloth 90 X 132-Inch Rectangular Polyester Tablecloth Black (ASIN B008TLJZXK) and prices vary widely by the seller, but generally fall in the under-$20 range.
We bought it in 2014, and it’s held up through every convention we’ve done since without any visible wear. Folding can be a little awkward because of its rounded edges – and I do recommend folding, because just tossing it in a box results in a lot of wrinkles. The wrinkles do smooth out with relative ease, but the less wrinkles you have to smooth to begin with, the better your display will look.
Honorable Mention: T-Shirt?
Finally, it’s not part of my display per se, but I frequently wear it at cons and author appearances, and every time someone asks where I got it because, let’s be real, why wouldn’t you want a T-Shirt featuring a space cat shooting laser beams at the earth while farting a rainbow?
Fortunately for everyone, this beauty is also on Amazon as Laser Eyes Space Cat T-Shirt (ASIN B00C1KAX0Y), though you’ll want to be careful which seller you buy from, as some are selling janky bootlegs, according to the reviews.
Whew! That said, I hope you curious minds find this mound of info helpful. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask away in the comments! 😀
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