book fair report

i think it’s reasonable to say that footfall at the fair was… limited. i staffed my shelf for 4 hours on the saturday and in that time the only two visitors who weren’t exhibiting artists were both people i’d arranged to meet. the friday night opening turnout was promising and i know that some artists achieved sales in that time, unfortunately i wasn’t one of them. turns out that (what i was banking on) *london* in itself does not necessarily make for a successful fair.

i think that several factors contributed to the lack of visitors. the venue was on the “wrong” side of the station – the side away from the town centre – and hidden along a side street. while the venue was signposted, the fair itself wasn’t, reducing the opportunities for passing trade. to be fair to the organisers they are a relatively new enterprise (since may 2013) and as such probably don’t have access to the extensive mailing lists of a more established venue.

everyone from the studio was incredibly welcoming to a somewhat lost out-of-towner and the opportunity to view and discuss others’ work as well as my own made the enterprise totally worth my while. i had a positive response to my one-off works, in particular i am safe generated a lot of interest and discussion.

i managed a single sale (from one of my contacts) that covered the cost of the shelf, but not my travel costs. i was hoping to be able to draw conclusions about how i’ve pitched my pricing from the weekend, but the limited audience made that impossible.

i took the opportunity on the sunday to visit the book art bookshop and was lucky enough to catch tanya who kindly made time to look at my work. my impression is that she was looking for a more complex structure than my current editions, but she took a copy of each on sale or return. just waiting for those calls to come pouring in for extra copies 😉

but overall the whole weekend was a learning experience i couldn’t have replicated without just doing it 🙂


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