I went to our main library’s Author Fair yesterday. 75 authors attended it, and 10% of any sales went to the library. The fair had been advertised really well, and a steady flow of people came and went. I was lucky. My friend, Mary Lou, and I had asked to share a table, so we got to yak on and off from 1:00 to 4:00, when no one was around. The good news? Enough people wandered to our table and asked about our books to keep us entertained. The bad news? Not many authors sold more than a few books, but that’s what we expected. Author Fairs aren’t really about selling books. They’re about meeting people. I’ve never been a BIG author with hordes of people lined up to buy my books, and I didn’t expect that to change in one afternoon. But it sure was fun meeting people and talking about what they liked to read, even if it wasn’t what I write. I like talking to readers as much as I like talking to writers, so I had a great day.
Mostly, authors stayed behind their tables to interact with people who attended the fair, so I didn’t meet authors who were new to me. I did get to say hello to some of the authors I already know, though, and I got to catch up with a few of them before the fair started. The fair isn’t about selling books, and it’s not really about connecting with writers, either. It’s about connecting with readers.
My main connection to fellow writers is at my writers’ club twice a month. That’s the best, and I’m so lucky I have it. I occasionally attend the writers’ meeting Kyra Jacobs runs at Barnes & Noble, too. That’s in the evenings, though, and it’s harder for me to juggle time to get there. I used to attend a writers’ conference once a year to meet authors outside of our area, but I haven’t done that for a while. It’s a great way to meet writers who have similar interests, though. Another way to connect with fellow writers is on social media. But I have to be honest, I’m starting to get grumpier about what I spend my time on. Just like with any friendship or acquaintance, if it’s all one-way, I’m over it. If I like a writer, I’ll retweet and share for a while, but if the favor’s never or rarely returned, I stop bothering. I’m not saying I expect tit for tat. That’s too much work–for me or anyone else. I can’t get to twitter or Facebook every day, so I don’t expect other writers to be able to either. I’m talking about one-way streets. And I’m talking about fellow writers. When I think of myself as a reader, a fan, that’s a whole different story.
Anyway, connecting with readers and fellow writers is fun. If you get a chance to be in an Author’s Fair, Anya Breton wrote a great post on how to prepare. She covered it all really well: http://blog.anyabreton.com/2015/11/book-signings/
In the meantime, Happy Writing!
P.S. I put up chapter 6 for Babet & Prosper’s River City Rumble on my webpage:http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/. I plan to post a new chapter every Friday. I love comments!
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JudithPostsurbanfantasy/
On twitter: @judypost