"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Sunday, October 6, 2013

So long at the fair

It was hot, but at least it wasn't windy.

For those of you who don't live in southern California, the Santa Ana winds have moved in over the weekend. They are strong and hot and take no prisoners. They were in my thoughts and my hair this morning as I loaded my canopy in the minivan and left for the Duarte Festival of Authors. Although the festival is set in a park with lots of trees for shade, there are large empty spaces that get full sun most of the day.

I needed the canopy to keep out of the sun, but would it be confiscated by the Santa Anas and blown to Arcadia?

Thankfully, we only got the heat and not the gale.

As usual, the festival was a lovely, low-key affair. The staff is always nice, but this year the volunteer teenagers went out of their way to help us in any way possible. At one point, they brought me a cup of hot tea and a cinnamon-spice muffin. So sweet!

As I've said before, I don't sell tons of books at this event. I don't think anyone does. My internal sell-o-meter is to aim for selling 6 books. If I hit that number, I'm happy. If I don't hit that number, I'm at least satisfied that I spent a lovely day with my author friends.

This is my friend Pam. She lives in Valencia and I live in Placentia and they only sound close together. They are really an hour apart on a good day and impossible to get to on a normal day of LA traffic. A day spent with Pam in a booth goes like this:

Pam - (books, marketing)
Me - (family, random crap)
Pam - (family, latest charity event)
Me - (books, marketing)
Both - *looking up to see a customer* "Hi, how are you today?"

Repeat as necessary.

We both handed out a lot of cards and bookmarks, and talked to a lot of people who have ereaders. I think we'll be watching our Kindle sales to see if the people who wanted to buy our ebooks carry out their intentions.

Before we knew it, four o'clock had rolled around and it was time to pack up. All my unsold books, cards, bookmarks, and even the gnomes went back in their storage bin. The canopy was folded and schlepped back to my car. How many books did I sell?


Color me happy.


Tameri Etherton said...

There are so many reasons to love this post. Not only did your pop up stay in one place, you made your sales quota! But the super cool thing is that you got to spend a day with Pam.

kabell4 said...

Yes, definitely wear the tiara for the parade. Have you been practicing your wave???

Proud Member of ALA!

I support fair and equitable library access to ebooks and so should you.