Blog No. 177
Last weekend was the start of my April run of events. Now that No Light Tomorrow is out, Christian and I try to have at least one or two events lined up every month. It adds extra work and can get hectic, but it’s the best way to ensure our meteoric sales continue. Some of the events are hosted by others and we either tag along or (if we’re lucky) specifically are invited. There are conventions too, where we sign up as a vendor and pay for the table. I’ve talked about a few of those already. Every time it’s been fun, exciting, and exhausting. I get to meet new people or better connect with acquaintances. While they have all been worthwhile (in one way or another) some are tougher than others. Hosting an even takes a lot more work, and inviting others to participate means they are relying on you to make their contribution valuable. Even just showing up to an event with a box of books can have challenges too.
Over Friday night and Saturday, I was invited to share a table at the Fogolar Flea Market. Local crime fiction author Edmond Gagnon (http://www.edmondgagnon.com/) was nice enough to invite both Christian and myself as thanks for beta reading his upcoming book. It was an event I knew nothing about, so I was eager to see what it was all about. I’m still new at the author/marketing game, and finding an audience in new places is something I strive for. Initially I wasn’t optimistic. I didn’t think a flea market would get many people, and I didn’t expect those who did would be interested in local writers.
Friday night seemed to confirm my suspicion. While Ed sold enough to cover the cost of the table, I only managed to sell three books. Christian wasn’t there with his first book (which always seems to help since we do a 2-4 deal at events) so it was a bit tougher to entice people. To top it off, due to the weather and low attendance, the organizers ended the event an hour early. (I wasn’t upset though, I really did want to get out of the cold.
We were set up in that pavilion (which is just a concrete structure with garage doors) so the rain/snow/hail wasn’t an issue (except for those poor people who were outside) but it was frigid. I thought I was prepared on Friday, but I was very much not. On Saturday I doubled up on the socks and made sure to be extra bundled, but it was still not enough. I have been colder, but never for so long. I thought for sure the place would be dead. While it wasn’t packed to the brim, there were quite a few bursts of people. I can see it being a much larger event in the summer. As it stands, we ended up selling 24 books, making a reasonable showing. Looking back, it was definitely a worthwhile weekend, but man, it was not so fun in middle of it. So very cold.
Much thanks to Ed for the invite and the folks who run the Fogloar Flea Market. They are running through the summer, so keep an eye open.
Saturday, April 16th is the next event. Hosted by the Adventure Worlds team, Shadows of Thought brings poetry and prose to Phog from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Come and hear readings from Melanie Janisse-Barlow, Christian Laforet, Joey Ouellette, Karen Rockwell, Vanessa Shields and me. We will also be selling and signing books. If you haven’t seen me read yet, this is the perfect time. (https://www.facebook.com/events/341631315960602/)