I posted this piece last fall. But, with spring in the air, invitations to author fairs are beginning to pop up. So, I thought it was worth revisiting, with one slight change to the original…
With warmer weather coming, I WILL have to shave my legs for this!
The term, “fair” brings to mind celebrations, hustle and bustle, excitement, and fun (sometimes creepy clowns are involved).
For authors, a fair is the opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow writers, meet book lovers, and get your book into the hands of new readers.
In our mid-western city, author fairs are few and far between. So, when I saw the opportunity to participate in one, I jumped at the chance.
Ticket in hand, I began preparing for the big day. Coffee in hand, I tackled my to-do list. My must-have list includes: my books, book stands, business cards, a credit card reader, pens, a table cloth, and some cash to make change.
My want-to-have list is much longer and mostly unnecessary (except, I am a children’s book author, so a gal’s gotta have something for the kiddos). This list includes freebies like: bookmarks, coloring sheets, and candy. Since I write books about fairies, I figured I’d throw in some plastic fairy bracelets, mini fairy dolls, and some bling for my table top (thank you Dollar Store).
And while I’m at it, why not order a 3 foot tall stand-up display of my main character?
The big day finally arrived. I packed up my gear and headed to the fair. After several trips to the car and a lot of zhuzh-ing, I was ready. I anxiously waited for the crowd to file in…and waited…and waited.
The author fair got much less traffic than I expected. I sold a whopping total of 4 books that day. Although I met some really great people, I was feeling pretty defeated. But, just as I was getting ready to pack it in, I ran into this guy.
Some would call this synchronicity. I am at a book fair, selling copies of my book featuring a bagpipe-playing dust fairy, and this guy is out in front of the venue playing the bagpipes. He was kind enough to pose for a picture, and he even bought a copy of my book.
I may have come away from this less-than-fair author fair only 4 books lighter, but this parting encounter brought the experience back into perspective. This man’s joy comes from sharing his music with others. I don’t imagine he measures his success in album sales.
I write fun books for kids. People like my books, and that brings me joy. Selling books or not selling books should not get in the way of that.
And on a lighter note-It’s fall in Iowa, so I did NOT shave my legs for this!
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