Author Vending: Things to Consider Part II: Vending Cost and Other Fees

Today, we are continuing our conversation on author vending. If you are new here, check out part one here.

Alabama Pop-up Shop 5/6/23

1. Cost of Vending and What’s Included

First, you want to determine how much the event host will charge you to be a vendor and what that fee entails. My requirement to vend at any event is that the fee includes a table and two chairs. Some businesses demand that you supply your own table and chairs. That feels like renting space with no space to me, but everyone’s different.

Whatever you decide, ensure the cost is reasonable and within your budget. So, if you have to bring a table (which you’ll probably have to buy), the vending fee should not cost an arm and a leg.

There is an exception to high ticket vending costs based on the influence of the event. See bullet point #3.

2. Travel / Lodging

This is a must if you decide to vend at a location outside the city/state where you live. This means the cost of vending takes on a more significant role because now you will have to consider: the cost of vending + travel + hotel.

This is where you should keep in mind that you are a business, not just an author, and that choosing to sell your goods at events is a business decision. Take into account the event’s quality if you must travel and do other things.

3. Consider the Influence of the Event Host / Audience

We talked about this last time, but I want to discuss it from a different angle.

Events that offer a chance for people to become vendors come in all shapes and sizes. Some events are hosted by first-time event hosts, and some by larger influencers and celebrities. Both are wonderful growth opportunities.

When deciding where to put your money, consider whether there will be a sizable enough crowd for you to conduct business outside of the vendors. The one con to vending at an event that can only produce a crowd within the vendors is that it will be difficult to conduct any commerce because we are all there for the same reason.

Vending is also about connecting with powerful influencers who could help propel you to the next level. In this case, the cost to vend might be pricey, but the event’s influence makes up for it because of the people and powerful connections you can make. (Think Essence Fest and Invest Fest)

Excited supporter!

While vending at Black Writer’s Weekend last year was a bit costly, here are some things that made me decide to give it a try:

  • BWW and its founder Tamika Newhouse are pretty well-known in Atlanta. I knew the event would bring out a large enough crowd for me to engage people beyond the vendors, and it did. I made my vending fee back.
  • Included my mandatory table and chairs.
  • I did not need to travel far since I am in the Atlanta area, so no funds were needed for hotel or travel.

4. Engagement and ROI

If you are just going to sit behind your table looking mean, scrolling through your phone, and waiting for people to talk to you, vending might not be for you. If you intend to make a return on your investment, you will have to engage with people.

Here are some things that have been helpful for me. 

  • Stand up and stay off the phone during high-traffic moments.
  • Bring a helper/assistant (hence the two chairs I always require when I vend) so you can leave your table now and again to talk to the other vendors and guests, take bathroom breaks, etc. My helper is my husband, who is fully trained (lol) on how to talk about my books in my absence. However, I am never too far away from my table.
  • Try not to look bored and mad (even if you are). Smile and speak. I always give people an excited “Good Morning!” or “Good Afternoon!” You’d be surprised by the people who will stop at your table just from you being friendly and pleasant. I also take note of certain non-verbal clues that people might be interested. Staring at my station but not speaking, walking away but turning for another look, studying my banner (because, how do you pronounce this name?) are all signs I use to engage people further.
I sold these two books from calling them over when I saw them do a double take!

5. Inventory

Last but certainly not least is your inventory!

  • Do you have enough books to go?
  • Business cards and bookmarks?
  • Marketing materials?

Give yourself enough time to get all your tools together before the event and include that in the cost! Remember, as Indie Authors, we have to buy author copies. 

Bonus: New Lessons

In part one, I joked that authors should vend at events focusing on books to avoid competing with the lady selling shea butter.

Well, I did meet a lady selling Shea Butter!

And her table was right next to mine, she also has locs, and wears glasses.

I learned a new lesson:

Of everyone at the pop-up, I was the only one with books. This set me apart and made people feel like I was the bookstore part of the event. And I did pretty well!

Even if it’s not an event focusing on books, you can do well as the only person with books or one of a few.

The Shea Butter woman’s name is Jenesis, and she runs an alternative and holistic health service business called Root’d Spa with various wellness products.

She bought a copy of my book, and I bought a bracelet from her! We are now following each other on social media.

Shea Butter Lady Jenesis!


  • Consider not just the fee but also: vending fee + travel + lodging + inventory
  • Be ready to work
  • Bring a helper/assistant
  • Speak up and be kind
  • Consider the event influence for high-ticket vending opportunities
  • Always be on the lookout for new lessons and perspectives. You might just find your next business partner!

Check out more Indie Author Basics articles here.

Why You Might Want to Increase the Price of Your Book on Amazon

Hey, gang!

I had a most amazing birthday week!

But now, it’s time to get back to work.

I am dropping this quick update you may or may not have known about.

Amazon is increasing its printing cost on June 20th.

The printing cost is the money you pay to get your book printed.

If you have self-published books on Amazon and the price of your book is too low (less than the new minimum) your royalties could be reduced, or you might not get any.

Printing Cost Changes

  1. All paperback and hardcover books will see an increase in their fixed costs to cover the materials, labor, and supplies.
  2. They are introducing a new fixed and per-page cost for paperbacks and hardcover books with a larger than standard (6 x 9) trim size.
  3. At the same time, they’re also decreasing the cost for some color-ink books ordered through specific Amazon marketplaces.

To see a full breakdown of the updated costs, check out this cost table link that Amazon put together here.

You have two options:

  • Leave your prices alone and accept the reduced royalties (if it applies to you)
  • Increase the sale price to offset the increased printing costs.

Here’s what you want to do:

  • Log into your Amazon K.D.P. Account
  • Go to your bookshelf
  • Click on the ellipes (…) next to your book and edit print book pricing.
  • Check to see if you will still get a royalty when the change kicks in. (It will show you on the page) If not, increase your book price.
  • Do it before June 20th.

Check out the Indie Author Basics archive here for more.

Unapologetically You

Rev. Fred Bennett, Mr. Isaac Farris, Sr., Mrs. Christine King Farris, Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, Dr. Roy C. Bell, Mrs. Clarice Wyatt Bell, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mrs. Coretta Scott King; Pascal’s Restaurant, Hunter St., Atlanta, GA. ~1962 — Photo via Dr. Clarice Bell on Flickr

I am no longer doing anything uncomfortable to make others comfortable.

Yesterday, I turned 36, and you would think this is a lesson I’ve learned by now.

But Paschal’s restaurant was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It upset me for a number of reasons.

But first, a little history.

I chose Paschal’s because I heard about their fried chicken and soul food. Google also informed me that the area has a fantastic civil rights history, having served as the main gathering spot for movement leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson, and others. It was founded in 1947 by two Black men, James and Robert Paschal.

I saw Dr. King’s and others’ images on the walls and was sold.

I didn’t look at any other spots after that. That was where I wanted to go. The prices were steep, but I didn’t care. I was told to pick out any place I wanted, and this is what I wanted.

Or so I thought.

The first red flag was the valet parking, which we paid for via cash app.

I frowned. Cash app? 

Now I’ve used cash app for many things, but a restaurant isn’t one of them.

But I didn’t want to be difficult so I said okay.

We walked in, and I felt like I was back in High School.

Call me bougie, but I was uncomfortable.

I am all for having a good time with my people, but this looked a lot different from the layout on the website.

I expected a fine dining experience with adults and a hint of black history and soul food.

And while the historical images were there, I got a room full of black people blasting Beyonce and standing around like they were at a club.

I was disappointed in what had become of the place. Although I’ve never been, I am sure it was a lot more refined when Dr. King ate here.

You can tell just by the picture above. See how they are carrying themselves? See the arrangement of the dishes? See the dignity?

The lack of decency and respect for our ancestors enough to take care of what they left us (because I am sure the Paschal’s would expect more) saddened me.

To make a long story short, we left.

It is not that I would never eat there. There is a time to kick back in that way. It is that I expect more. I expect more from my people just like I expect more from myself.

Take care of the legacy your ancestors leave behind.

Being Unapologetically Me

Thus, as my heart began to race and irritation blanked my face, I realized all the times I settled because I wanted others to be okay even if that meant I wasn’t. And I decided right then and there that I would no longer accept anything that made me uncomfortable just because I didn’t want to be “too much.”

am too much.

My standards are high, and from this point forward, I will walk unapologetically in this truth. 

I suppose the message here is, I hope you will too.

Be unapologetically YOU.

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews -Lifeline to a Soul by John K. McLaughlin

Title: Lifeline to a Soul: The Life-Changing Perspective I Gained While Teaching Entrepreneurship to Prisoners

Author: John K. McLaughlin

Publisher: Lifeline Education Connection

Published: April 4, 2023

Pages: 237

John McLaughlin uses his skills in education and experiences running his own company to teach entrepreneurship at a minimum-security prison in Lifeline to a Soul. The author’s background is described in depth, including his involvement in assisting his father with launching his sales start-up company. John gains business and customer service skills at McLaughlin and Associates that helps him teach later in life.

I was impressed with his father’s tenacity to launch his own company after years of devoting himself to someone else led to his termination. It would have been simple and understandable to give up, but he didn’t, and his son was inspired by his persistence to keep going until he achieved his goals.

Determined to do whatever it takes to pursue a profession in education and adapt to the rapidly evolving technological environment, John decides to continue his education. Not only does he go back to get his master’s degree, but he ultimately gets his teaching certificate and doctorate.

However, despite having all the education and qualifications, there has yet to be a response from teaching jobs.

That is until there is an opening for a part-time instructor to teach an entrepreneur program in a minimum-security correctional setting.


Getting the job was easy, and Mr. Moose (John’s hilarious nickname) immersed himself in instructing his students with course chapters from books, syllabi, and business plan templates.

But Mr. Moose did not do all the teaching.

When asked about Black Wallstreet by one of the Black students, the author admits to not knowing about it or remembering it taught in school.

“If this is a true story, do you think Uncle Cleve could’ve been a part of Black Wall Street? The time period’s about right, and he had to learn those business skills somewhere.”

I had no idea what he was talking about. “What was Black Wall Street?” I asked.

“Black Wall Street!” Kevin continued, slightly exasperated and looking around the room for support. “Look it up. An affluent Black community in Oklahoma around the turn of the century that was bombed out of existence by the United States Army.”

Laughlin then goes on to learn more about this historical period in time. He explains how his notions about who prisoners were and them getting what they deserved changed. He thought he would be teaching, but they taught him too.

Speaking of humility, the author also opened his class to inmates who weren’t registered but wanted to sit in and learn and gave away books to the men who asked, even though he had to pay for them out of his own pocket.

“Even though I wasn’t given any funds for supplies, I couldn’t deny an incarcerated man a book on my first day, my last day, or any day in between.”

“Anyone who wanted to learn was always welcome.”

Profile Picture 11523

Lifeline of a Soul is an inspiring story of one teacher’s experience teaching entrepreneurship and learning more about life for inmates, away from the stereotypes or preconceived notions of what he thought it might have been like. There was a lot about the prison that surprised even me and challenged my own misconceptions about that life. It is the story of how one man’s high level of determination saved the lives of the students he taught.

This book has layers of lessons: How a lack of resources in prison is similar to challenges entrepreneurs face with start-ups; not giving up on your dream; persisting when things get tough; pivoting where necessary, and having the humility to always be open to learning.

I also really enjoyed the presentation and organization of this book, down to the progress report of where some of the men are and their business logos. John is indeed a professional!



  • Strong Introduction: 5/5
  • Authenticity / Believable: 5/5
  • Organization: 5/5
  • Thought Provoking: 5/5
  • Solid Conclusion: 5/5

Grab Your Copy of Lifeline to a Soul Here

Lifeline Cover with PenCraft Award

To have your book reviewed on this blog apply here. The registry is open for a limited time. Stay tuned for our next dope read.

(I am off for the rest of May. Our next review will be in June. Stay tuned!)

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews is a reputable review service that features writers from all over the world, both traditionally and independently published. We are listed on Kindlepreneur as a top-tier book review blog and Reedsy as one of their vetted active book blogs that provide insightful, excellent book reviews.

*Books are read in the order they are received.


Multiply Your Talents (Use Your Gifts)

Photo by RF.

There are headstones

with the names of highly gifted people

who died with those gifts still inside them.

Brilliant people who passed

but never passed that intellect on

for anyone else’s benefit. 

They died smart. 

Highly passionate people

who never dared to love fully,

and wealthy people who are so poor,

all they have is money. 

Black History Book Street Team

Photo by fauxels on Pexel

As I prepare to return my manuscript to my editor for a final comb-through, I am also ready to assemble a street team of beta readers and advanced reviewers.

Having not written a history book before (that’s not fiction), I had no idea it would be this much work. However, I am eager to share everything I have learned with you.

If you are familiar with the Black History Fun Fact Friday series, this book is that series in book form, only much more polished and with more information.

Beyond that series, what inspired the book?

We are particularly familiar with the names of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. These outstanding leaders had a lasting impression on Black Americans’ history.

But two questions stick out:

  1. How much do we really know about them?

Did you know MLK was born Michael, not Martin??

  1. What are some names and histories of other leading Black people and events we are unfamiliar with?

Did you know a Black man, Lewis Howard Latimer helped Thomas Edison with the light bulb and Alexander Graham Bell with the telephone? These inventions could not exist in their present capacity without Lewis!

You can expect to read this kind of information in 200 pages of mind-blowing Black Historical Facts your history teacher left out.

I am looking for:

  • Black / African American readers passionate about Black history
  • Readers of any ethnicity who love Black history
  • History buffs in general
  • Readers willing to leave an Amazon review after reading the book
  • Readers willing to post about the book on the social media platform of their choice. (I do not dictate how you do this. You can publish it to your feed or story. I am grateful either way.)

Note: While I appreciate editorial feedback, you do not have to be an editor to beta read. Before publication, this book is receiving professional editing and proofreading.


  • You get a free ecopy of the book before it comes out.
  • You get free shipping on the paperback when it comes out. (You will get a private access code to input for your free shipping when the time comes.)
  • You get a special mention on my social media (@yecheilyah) in the form of a professional graphic I’ll use to promote early reviews.

What to Do Now

Copies will start to go out when the final version of the manuscript is ready. If you signed up, keep an eye on your email to stay posted.

You must inform me of your interest via email ( to receive further information on how to help, including the ARC terms and an advanced book copy.

Who’s in??

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – I See You HBCU by Keyshawn McMiller

Title: I See You HBCU

Author: Keyshawn McMiller

Illustrator: Bryan McMiller

Publisher: Why Be I Publishing

Published: September 8, 2022

Pages: 31

The cutest black history children’s book, I See You HBCU is the ideal resource for parents who want to teach their young children about the importance and influence of historically black colleges and universities.

Beautifully illustrated and just 30 pages, little Ahman discovers a box marked “HBCU” while helping his parents carry boxes as they move into their new, larger home. He is bitten by the curiosity bug as he asks his mom and dad what the letters stand for.

He is in for an exciting lesson on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, from how they helped Black students to fit in when we couldn’t go to the same schools as whites to how Edward Waters College was the first HBCU in Florida.

The story centers on an adorable African American family, and the graphics are reminiscent of Boondocks by Aaron Mcgruder. As they respond to Ahman’s inquiries, the mother and father are kind and patient with him. You might feel like a young child on the sofa as your parents dance to the memories of their historically black institutions.

By the end of the book, the author adds an extensive list of HBCUs as a guide for readers!

This is an excellent book to start the conversation about higher education from an African American perspective if you have kids under 10. I think of this as the first of several books that will follow Ahman’s journey. Let’s hope the author feels the same way!



Age Appropriate for Content: 5/5
Storyline: 5/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Child Self and Self-Identity: 5/5
Thought Provoking: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Grab I See You HBCU for your little ones here!


To have your book reviewed on this blog apply here. The registry is open for a limited time.

Stay tuned for our next dope read. Next up:

Lifeline of a Soul: The Life-Changing Perspective I Gained While Teaching Entrepreneurship to Prisoners

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews is a reputable review service that features writers from all over the world, both traditionally and independently published. We are listed on Kindlepreneur as a top-tier book review blog and Reedsy as one of their vetted active book blogs that provide insightful, excellent book reviews.

*Books are read in the order they are received.