Going to CPE?

Is there a Christian bookstore in your community?

Is your book in your local store?

If you are an author, or a writer who wants to be a Christian author, you need to know about Christian bookstores and support yours if you have one nearby.

Although the majority of books are sold online through Amazon and other vendors, there are still Christian bookstores out there in most parts of the United States, approximately 1500-2000 of them by one estimate.

You also would be wise to learn about the Christian Product Expo (CPE), coming up this August 4-6 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, sponsored by the trade group for those stores, the Christian Retail Association (CRA).

And you would be welcome to attend.

CPE has described itself as “where the business does business,” as it’s a gathering of bookstore owners and representatives, publishers, suppliers of other products for Christian stores–think t-shirts, artwork and other gift items–and authors.

Publishers all have booths to display books for stores to order. There is also a big book-signing party the opening night, where authors give copies of their book to bookstore reps and have the opportunity to tell people about the message God has given them to share. Those personal contacts not only thrill the authors, but also matter to bookstore owners who are passionate about the ministry of their stores. Meeting each other on the opening Sunday night event hopefully will lead to orders during the expo days on Monday and Tuesday.

Those meet ups also help authors make contacts for later book events in those stores.

No books are sold on the expo floor, this is an industry event for placing wholesale orders. If you have books to sell wholesale to bookstores, you may wish to discuss with your publisher or distribution representative your book being made available at CPE in August. There are sometimes other factors involved on the business side, but if this sounds good to you, you should check it out further.

You might also consider attending to promote your book to Christian media.

Buoyancy PR will also be there as an exhibitor to help promote some authors and provide those authors a place to work from where their books are prominently on display.

However, we are also there because some Christian media also attend CPE, many of them seeking authors to interview for their programs. We work with our clients at CPE to help garner interviews for them. Reach out if you want more information on any of this.

But if you aren’t quite at that stage yet, you may also want to attend at least one day of CPE just to learn. The days also include author training, worship, speakers and fellowship. Or you may wish to learn more about publishers and have the chance to meet face to face with some of their staff.

It’s time to get planning if you are considering traveling to Ft. Wayne to meet with others involved in the Christian Retail market.

We will see you there!

Originally sent as an email to the Buoyancy community on May 3, 2024.
Joni Sullivan Baker
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