I'm excited to say that I took part in my first book festival this weekend. It was incredible. I had the opportunity to meet so many enthusiastic readers, aspiring writers, and established authors. Not to mention, I sold quite a few books too!
My very first customer was my mother-in-law. She happily carried around my book after she purchased it, facing out, for everyone to see. I'm not sure it prompted more buyers, but anything helps! You know what the funny thing is? Yes, we authors want to make some money, but in reality we don't make very much. What we REALLY want is to share our stories with the world. That's what I'm hoping for. I want my story to be read by anyone interested in the genre. I want Ava and Stephen to be in the minds and dreams of my readers just as they inhabit mine. I want fan fiction writers to imagine other ways my story could go and write about it. I WANT TO INSPIRE!
My second customer was amazing. Here she is.
She was so excited to buy my book it made me more excited. I was jumping up and down (inside, of course) like a giddy little girl. And she happily posed for a picture. If you're reading this, sweetie, even though you weren't my very first customer, I consider you my FIRST. My mother-in-law is family, so she would have bought a book from me anyway. You were the first person I didn't know who bought one from my table! Love ya!
A few customers later, and a lot of conversations, I met this beauty.
She begged her mom to buy my book even though she had already purchased another. After a little convincing, and a pleading look, mom finally gave in. I’m so glad she did. I adore the look on a reader’s face when they’ve found the book they’ve been looking for. I smiled for a long time after she left my table. (And I love her boots!)
Throughout the festival, I met so many people who not only love to read but promote reading as well. Two ladies I met hold their own festivals once a year, and one has a book club. THAT is amazing! It’s one thing to encourage kids to read, but knowing that this great love continues to grow and grow well into adulthood is incredible. I have many friends who used to be bookworms when we were kids and they hardly have time to pick up a book these days. We need to keep reading y’all! It’s exercise for your brain!
This next group of girls made my day. They were standing at a table across from me for the longest time, and one of the girls kept glancing back at my table. After about the fifth glance, I finally asked her what kind of books she was into. She moved to my table and we started talking. Then her friends joined her and they were all interested in Something Within. They took information and left. A long while later I was telling my son about this great group of girls when, lo and behold, they came back. They “collectively agreed” to purchase one book to share. So I signed the book to all three of them. Girls, you made my day!
In fact, everyone I met made my day. From the customers, performers, volunteers and staff, to the people in the booths around me, this day was perfect!
If you’re a writer and have been thinking about joining in on a book festival, I say, GO FOR IT! If you’re an avid reader and have been wondering about what goes on at book festivals, I say, CHECK IT OUT! It’s worth your time.
Oh, and I dragged my daughter with me to the festival. She walked away with some new books to read!