Yesterday I was part of a local author’s book fair at All On The Same Page Bookstore. While the event was not what one would call a rousing commercial success, I think the basic idea is a good one, and I hope Robin and Dennis do it again.
It was amazing seeing so many self-published and small press authors in one place. There were, I believe, fifteen of us (at least that’s what the signs said–I didn’t do a head count.) Naturally, we talked shop, talking about what works and what doesn’t, which venues generated reviews and sales. The monthly writer’s group is very good, but there was something very special about being in a group of people who all had real books that we’d made.
I found that I was not the only person who had tried to give a copy to a local library and been rejected, for example, which was good for my self-esteem. We talked about covers and stock photography and page design, what to put on the back of the book (and I need to rewrite the back cover text to include an actual synopsis of the novel.)
Why weren’t we swarmed by customers? Well, it was bitter cold. Friday had been in the 70’s, Saturday was in the 40’s, so it felt worse than it was. Also it was the same day as the Downtown Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, which for a heavily Catholic town like St. Louis is a big deal.
It might also improve traffic if it were held after school lets out, with both kids and grown-ups looking for Summer reading. And it would be nice to get some of the other shops involved. All On The Same Page is next to a music store, they could probably scare up some local musicians to play on the sidewalk and offer CDs for sale. (A multi-media event!)
I don’t know, I’m making this stuff up as I go. I just know that I really enjoyed it, even with the cold and the lack of sales. Just being there with other people who are trying to do what I am trying to do helps so much. I don’t feel so alone.