Festivalizing

When your book is finished, the job of writing it is done. There is much more work to be done afterwards.

The last time I checked in with you, it was right after my book launch in August. That sold-out event was a great boost to my sales and my ego. However, the writer can’t just sit back and hope the book sells. The post-writing life of a book deals with selling, selling, selling. (Grandpa said never work retail.)

It means going to events that might attract potential readers for your book. This is how I wound up at the very first Colorado Festival of Horror last weekend.

I was consumed with anxiety about how I would do. Would I freak out during the interview, or lose it at the merch table?

I didn’t have to worry. It was very mellow. In this case, the festival was staged at a hotel in Denver over the course of a weekend, with events being held in various rooms and a big space dedicated to vendors. On Friday, carrying a big box of my books, some signage, and various odds and ends, we moved our goods to a little table about halfway back in the room and set up.

The vendors were hawking all manner of things – movie posters, comic books, illustrations, dolls, books, and other tchotchkes. Horror and dark fantasy were the themes on display. Both the attendees and the vendors favored black in their outfits, and many people dressed in costume.

You set up, you wait, and you hope people come by. Hours and hours of waiting around, ready to sell your wares – I caught up on my reading. You sit there and read, or chat, or stare off into space. People come by and you give them your spiel from your chair, hoping to inspire them to part with some simoleons.

The vendors were nice and neighborly – several of them bought a book! Someone even had their picture taken with me. I felt like a big shot. I ended up selling dozens of books. OK, I sold exactly two dozen books, but it sounds more impressive if you say “dozens”.

So, much as I hate to laud the common sense and sociability of the average person, I must say I was quite impressed with the quality of them, at least at this event. When’s the next festival?

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