Sunday, June 27, 2010

Harrisburg Book Festival (part 2)

On Saturday, June 26, I participated in the Harrisburg Book Festival hosted by the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. I had a successful day, and what I could tell from the few hours I was there, it looked like it was a very successful event overall.


I didn’t know what to expect because I’d never been to a book festival before. Two weeks ago, I ordered copies of my book, Growing Up Girl, to sell, but the day before the festival I received an e-mail from the publisher saying they wouldn’t arrive until July 1 – several days too late. So I only had six books to take with me, some leftovers from my last attempt to sell it.

I sat at the table from 9-12 Saturday morning with my books, two posters advertising my book, a sign-up sheet for e-mail updates, and a pen on the table in front of me.  For the first hour and a half, nothing happened. There were very few customers in the store and even fewer who acknowledged the local authors sitting at our tables. But then between 10:30 and 11, traffic picked up and the event became more exciting.

I sold three books and the Midtown Scholar Bookstore said they would take three for their store to sell, which means I had no books to bring home with me after the festival. Yay!

Selling three books and having three sold on consignment at a local bookstore might not sound hugely successful to some of you, but events like this aren’t necessarily just for selling books. They’re about getting your name and face out there in the public and meeting people. I had many more people grab my business cards with my e-mail and Web site on them, a few people even signed-up for my e-mail update list, and my name was printed in the event's promotional flyers.

You never know what new opportunities will come out of an event like this.

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