I never pictured myself as someone who would sit behind a table of goods, trying desperately to get the attention of passersby and “landing” them through a spiel about how wonderful my particular product is. But as I’ve said many times in this blog, being an author is not about writing a book. While you have to start with a completed manuscript, it’s only the beginning of the process.
If you truly love what you do, you find a way to be behind that table talking people into buying your book, and while that’s a challenge for someone whose tongue gets tied easily, it quickly becomes comfortable once you get beyond that “please-don’t-annoy-me” hesitancy and engage people in conversations about reading and writing.
Last week mom and I had several events: we attended a Fall for the Book Festival signing as part of the Write by the Rails author entourage, and we sold our books at an arts and crafts fair at Fort Belvoir. Traffic at both events was affected by Hurricane Joaquin so we didn’t sell a huge amount of books. But we also look at these commitments of our time in terms of what else participation can provide. Fall for the Book brought exposure to some new friends in the writing world. We especially enjoyed being right next to Victor Rook who was there to tout his newest book Dollar Store Crafts and Recipes. His sense of humor is reflected in the title of another of his books: People Who Need to Die, and I think some of our traffic came from people stopping to open that book.
The highlight of both events, however, occurred at Saturday’s fair, which was put on by the Ft. Belvoir Enlisted Spouses club to raise money for a scholarship fund. At that fair, a young lady who talked to us at a Ft. Belvoir event last fall came running up to the table excited to see us. She had wanted to buy our books last year, but didn’t get a chance before the close of the event so her husband surprised her by buying them online as a Christmas present. She gobbled them up and was thrilled that she’d be able to buy book three directly from the authors. But first, she ran all the way home so that she could get the books she received last Christmas and have us sign them. While that doesn’t exactly make us movie stars, it shows us that we’ve accomplished our goal: given someone pleasure through our words and stories.
We wish we could bottle that kind of enthusiasm then get the bottle out during the slow times, uncork it and take a huge whiff of invigoration.
Ahhh. Now that’s more like it! Genilee Swope Parente