Writer’s Journal: Preparing for an Event

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A year or so ago, I wrote about going to a book signing event in Shaker Heights, near Cleveland. That was a great time, and I wish I could have done it this year, but it just was not possible. I hope to do it again next year, though.

This year, I’m going to be at a local festival in August, the Pymatuning Lake Festival. It’s put on by the Pymatuning Area Chamber of Commerce, and is held at the main beach at the state park. This is not a book signing, per se. This is a gathering of vendors, many of them creatives like me who make things to sell. Many others are selling products for companies. There’s always a tent or two of cool shirts and dresses from India; there’s been a guy who paints on pieces of slate, people who sell crocheted items, woodworkers, and people selling Avon and Tupperware.

Signing up for this was a bit of an impulse. With me being a local author, I thought for sure they’d be eager to have me, and they were. One of the teachers at the high school—I’m pretty sure she’s the Junior Class Advisor—is in charge, so she’s who I ended up contacting. She got back to me right away.

To prepare for this event, I have to buy a lot of things. The biggest two purchases will be some books and a canopy with sides. I’d like a purple canopy, but have not been able to find one in the size I need. I’ll also require sides for my canopy, in case of rain. Can’t be having my books getting wet!

Speaking of books, I have a bunch in stock, but will need to purchase copies of my last couple releases. I thought about making sure I had ten of each book, but I doubt I sell that many. So, I’ll just sell what I have. They’re all getting new covers, anyway, so it’s not like I can really hang on to them.

I need to make signs for my table, and maybe buy some clear plastic picture frame things to hold them. Oh, and I need to order bookmarks. I need to watch my funds, so I’m not going to go hog wild with swag, either.

Sometimes, it feels like this is a lot of work, but I think the biggest thing is to make sure I order books and that canopy early … like, this week. Createspace often takes weeks to get books to you, and I want to do my utmost to get them here on time.

I need to find someone to help me set up my tent on Friday night, and take it down Sunday evening. That and finding someone to help with the dogs and bring me food are going to be my biggest challenges. The festival is two days: ten in the morning on Saturday to ten at night and on Sunday, ten in the morning until six in the evening. I can bring some food in a cooler, and I can park my truck behind my tent, but I can’t really leave my display during the day. I don’t want to be missing when someone stops and looks. Then I’ll have missed an opportunity to talk about my work, and might miss a sale.

You may wonder if I’m going to have a decent return on my investment. Part of me doubts I sell anything, and part of me holds onto hope that I will. At the very least, I’ll get my name out there and expose people to me, to JAFF, and to Jane Austen. I intend to step way out of my comfort zone with this. I’m praying I am rewarded. 🙂

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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