10 Tips to Make the Most Out of the Manila International Book Fair

The Manila International Book Fair is THE biggest event for bookworms in the Philippines! This year, it runs from September 17-21. If you haven’t gone there yet, here are 10 tips to help you make the most out of this event.

By the way, my book “May Powers Ka to Be #SuperEpic” (a book on leadership for young people), published by OMF Literature starts selling there. Its cover price is P75, but you’ll get a 30% discount. You’ll just have to pay P52.50 to grab a copy.

Get free tickets.

If you don’t have a free ticket, you will need to pay an entrance fee. It’s not expensive, but then, FREE is always good. Where to get a free ticket? My publisher offers one–you can go to OMF Lit bookshops near you, or you can just download and print one from their website. Click here to do that right now. http://omflit.com/

Have a list of authors you like.

The MIBF is a treasure trove of books on crazy, low sale. There are literally hundreds or thousands of titles from hundreds of authors available during the Book Fair. To avoid being overwhelmed, make sure to have a list of authors you follow. As an avid Booksale visitor, I usually have a list of authors in my head, so I can grab their books if I encountered any of them.

Prepare a list of new books you’d like to buy.

Check out your favorite publishers and watch out for any new titles they’re launching. If you love pop books from Wattpad, better look out for Summit’s booth. If you’re a Christian, you might want to check out CSM Publishing, OMF Literature, New Day or CLC. For poetry, novels, and short story collections, better check out UP Press, Anvil, UST Press, and Ateneo Press among others.

And by the way, if you like a fantasy YA novel, I heartily recommend Edgar Samar’s “Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon.” Dark and gritty. But the book is totally affordable.

Come up with a list now and make sure to check out the publishers.

Study the layout of the Book Fair.

You can do this before going to the venue. Or you could just do it five minutes after you pass through the entrance. Usually, when I shop, I’m your stereotypical male. I go to the store, pick up the stuff I like, pay for it, go out the door. With thousands of books, though, I’d rather linger, saunter through the aisles and look at EVERY interesting title I could find.

I try hard to set myself up for that rare, surprising find. I almost always do. Since I have a wide range of interest: history, Science Fiction, Fantasy, literary, poetry, short stories, Christian, music, biography, and a whole lot more.

Decide on (and stick to) a budget.

This could be the tricky part. Three years ago, I went berserk and spent almost PhP 3,000 on books during the MIBF! After that, I made the resolve not to go to the next MIBF’s for fear of spending too much on books. My other problem was that I already had a lot of unread books on my shelf. I wanted to somehow read at least half of my books before buying new ones.

Attend events you’re interested in.

You can check out the official website or official Facebook page of the MIBF to attend events you’re interested in. Book launching, seminars, and workshops abound during the MIBF. Plenty of learning opportunities for the readers and writers among us.

Don’t ever forget the Book Fair selfie.

Take pictures–lots of it to prove to the world that you were there. Coz without pictures, it didn’t happen, right? Whether with the books you bought, or with the authors you follow, take pictures and boast your pile of books to the rest of the world.

Here’s a book fair selfie from my friend Noe:


Meet and greet your favorite authors.

You can bring your book and have it signed by your favorite authors. Or better yet, buy new ones and have the authors sign it for you. That’s a big way to support the authors you follow. Writing a book is a tough job, and we need all the encouragement we could have.

Add the books you buy on your Goodreads profile.

Goodreads is a social networking site for bookworms like us. If you need help on how to use the site, check it out here. Goodreads is an awesome way to keep track of your progress in reading a book. You can even join a challenge to read a certain number of books for the whole year. I committed to reading 20 books in 2014. So far, I have read 17 books out of 20. Just 3 more and I’m done with my target.

READ the books you buy!

Of course, this is the most important part. Read the books you buy. Sure, you’re busy. Who isn’t? But you spent hard-earned money on those books, you might as well read them. By reading those books, you’ll learn a lot of new ideas and they can transport you to a whole new world.

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