Success vs. Failure

Blog No. 178

13043272_10153592841130983_8780445078630331825_n           The April event train continues with one more down and one to go. Saturday evening was Shadows of Thought. You may wonder what the heck that even means. Let me tell you. As Christian and I attempt to shatter records (including the most local events by authors or something) we decided that we should have another reading. Many of our events have been signings (or conventions which is a signing amongst many other people). The only time we’ve read (to that point) was at the launch. As it’s impossible for everyone to make every (or a specific) event, so having more than one makes sense. Plus, if people like it, they get more! That meant having another reading. At the time that Shadows of Thought was planned, we didn’t have anything for April. Thankfully (though resulting in a full schedule) we were invited to other fantastic events (last week’s Fogolar Flea Market and next week’s Essex reading).

With the bones of the event in place, we had to come up with the details. We didn’t have much other than that it was a reading and that we wanted to invite other people. Last time we had the tremendous Brendan Friel playing music, but we like to change things up. After deciding to invite some poets to round things out, we compiled a list and invited the readers. Thankfully, they all responded positively and we had the beginnings of a great reading. We had Melanie Janisse-Barlow, Christian Laforet, Joey Ouellette, Karen Rockwell, Vanessa Shields and me. A great, diverse, group.

12998733_10153592840575983_5409213516310235854_n            Next on the agenda was to come up with a name so we could start advertising. Usually I revel in making titles and the like, but I had nothing. Nothing beyond the obvious at least. We sent the idea out to the other readers and received much the same. Eventually Christian came across a quote from an author he enjoys and Shadows of Thought was born. We needed a name and it sounded cool. Posters were printed and distributed, a facebook event was made, and I started practicing a reading for the big day.

When the big day arrived, I felt unprepared. I think, since I did so much for the launch, doing anything less would result in the same feeling. I packed up my stuff (a task starting to come together with precision and finess) and drove to Phog. I was the second to arrive and nearly everything was ready to go. I made the final adjustments (setting up a table for our collective books and turning on the sound system) had a beer, and waited. The rest of the authors trickled in, bringing with them a few guests. The time for the event came and went, and the place was nearly empty. Even my parents (massive supporters of everything I’ve done) showed up late. Eventually the time came to start even with the small crowed, and we did. Others slipped in while we read, but in the end, it wasn’t as large a crowed as hoped.

12993470_10153592840920983_5691362871680178702_n            The readings went wonderfully. The mix of subjects, styles, and genera worked exactly as we planned. While the readings went for more than an hour, it felt fresh and the response was wonderful. When it came time to end and start selling the books though, the place mostly emptied. Some authors sold a few books, but again, it was underwhelming. Positives and negatives. The event went well, there were few people and fewer sales. In the end, I’m quite happy. The cost for everything was minimal, but I had a great time and became closer to the other authors. We’ve even talked about what’s next.

What’s next is a reading with Joey Ouellette, Linda Collard, Christian Laforet, and me, at the historic Essex Railway Station on Saturday at 2:30. (https://www.facebook.com/events/1523581214616667/) Come out to see some fun readings and to see the beautiful building.

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