Home Schooling Families Need Books

So how aware are you of this community? Maybe you or those you love participate in the Christian homeschooling community, but if not or it’s been a while, have you considered this committed and caring community of families? For many authors, this is an ideal market for their books and ministry.

There are publications, blogs and podcasts that specialize in serving these families, but in addition, and as an easier place to start, there are also conventions.

Some are large conventions attended by thousands of people held in various parts of the country. Those are typically sponsored by a couple of large home school organizations. In addition, there are numerous state organizations that have their own smaller conventions. As with many other topics we chat about in this space, we know just enough to introduce you to this idea.

There are two avenues of involvement in these large conventions you might want to consider.

I’ve been to these larger home school conventions in a few cities, and I’m always kind of blown away by the energy and passion of the attendees. Of course some of that energy is attributable to the vast number of children also attending the event. From memory, those children were remarkably well behaved, just excited to be there and making the usual amount of kid noise.

The exhibition areas at the shows I’ve been to are a central feature of the conventions. Exhibitors currently listed on a website from a show in 2022 range from curriculum sellers to colleges to hawkers of essential oils. The families that come to the conventions appear to come ready to spend money on books and curriculum they need.

Because think about it. The families attending are trying to raise Christian adults, so they are looking for additional materials to help them with that. Client authors of mine who have participated, some more than once, included an author of a book and workbook on anger, one who is teaching some elements of apologetics suitable for teens as well as adults, and an author whose Biblical fiction novels featured a young teenaged boy as a main character.

So exhibiting at one of these conventions might be worthwhile, and current prices appear to be around $550 for a table for several days. Not sure if you might be able to share this with another author colleague, but that would be helpful of course.

In addition to the exhibition floor, there are some interesting and sometimes well-known speakers for main sessions, as well as an array of workshops.

And that’s the second opportunity. Exhibitors may apply to present a workshop, usually at no extra cost, though it’s not guaranteed. Of course, a topic that offers helpful content, aimed primarily at serving others and only secondarily at selling your book, is more likely to be accepted.

The two things support one another of course – someone coming by your booth may be interested to learn of your workshop, and those attending the workshop may be invited to speak further with you at your booth.

Two of the main organizations that each put on multiple conventions include the Great Home School Conventions (https://greathomeschoolconventions.com) and an organization called Teach Them Diligently (https://teachthemdiligently.net), which has conventions as well as one day educational events “just for mom and dad” that don’t include an exhibition.

Conventions in 2022 and 2023 were being held in convention centers in Greenville, S.C.;  Round Rock, Texas; Ontario, California;  Cedarville, Ohio; Nashville; St. Louis, and Cincinnati.

One of my clients, JoAnn Vicknair, has signed up for a 2023 event in Nashville as an exhibitor.

Many statewide home-schooling organizations also hold events. For example, in Louisiana where JoAnn lives, in 2022 the state homeschooling organization held a conference at a church venue. While presumably quite a bit smaller than the large conventions, in 2022 a vendor table at that event was only $50.

A recent perusal of websites of the larger organizations revealed some 2023 dates beginning to show up, so if this is something you think might be a fit for you, the time to research, plan and schedule is coming up.

Originally sent as an email to the Buoyancy community on June 24, 2022.
Joni Sullivan Baker
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