One of an author's responsibilities these days is to help promote and sell his work. This is assuming they actually do want to sell their work--many writers still write just for the joy of writing. Personally, I'd like to have my joy and sell it, too.
One way of promoting is author appearances, and/or book signings. With the exception of last year, I've done at least 2-4 every year since my first novel was published in 2011--one time I was involved in two group author appearances on the same day. Not only that, I've done them in numerous places: Stores, art galleries, libraries, fairs, my daughter's garage sale, and, yes, a fish fry.
Some were more successful than others. You'd think I'd make few sales at a library, what with them having so many books for free. But, maybe because that's where book people go, our appearances there have done pretty well.
So, even though like many writers I get social anxiety, I've dived into many unusual places in my attempts to spread the word that, yes, I write books. If you think about it, the most unusual is whenever we moved outside for a book signing. My very first appearance was on the Noble County Courthouse square, during what they call a First Friday event.
But it doesn't make sense to go outside for a book signing, does it? I mean, it's really playing the odds, especially during a Midwest summer: You spit in Mother Nature's face, she's likely to spit back at you, and by spit I mean torrential rain and page-tearing winds.
Books are not waterproof. You people who bought Kindles? They're not waterproof, either.
So, after some consideration, I decided not to do outdoor book signings anymore. Indoor author appearances, fine--all for 'em. But going outside just seemed unnatural somehow, like fixing your toaster in the bathtub. Every tried that? Don't try that.
Then I heard that my sister-in-law was looking to restart her fair booth, which she used to sell homemade jewelry, and the idea presented itself: Suppose we supported each other by sharing a booth?
I've been outside before, you see.
Yes, before you ask, it was my idea.
And that's how I ended up with my next book signing being, yes, outdoors. The details are here:
But the short story (see what I did, there?) is that we'll be at the Avilla Freedom Festival on June 20, 21, and 22, although I'll only be able to be there myself for part of the time. The way I see it, I'll happily follow my brother and sister-in-law wherever they go, because we can support each other's efforts and have a little family time.
Even if it's outside.
So my conclusion, in the end, is that sometimes it's good to take a few risks and put yourself out there--literally--as an author. And hey--nobody ever died from a little inclement weather.
Besides, those plastic totes will hold a lot of books, and they're waterproof.
It's not like we haven't already been to the Avilla Freedom Festival!
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