You need a checklist of everything that needs to be in your car.
- Books, plenty of books
- Bling, be it book marks, postcards, door hangers (something with your name and the books' names on it)
- Candy in a dish (not chocolate if your event is in the summer)
- Pens to sign books
- A cash box and plenty of singles or fives to make change
- A placard with the "event special" prices
- Posters of your books
- A business card holder
- Stands to hold the books
- A sign-up sheet for your newsletter
- A table and a cover for it
- A canopy if you are outdoors to shield from sun/rain
- A chair
I write mysteries. I know many of my readers love Castle. So, a couple of years ago, my husband gave me a Castle vest for Christmas. It's hot, so in the middle of summer I drape it over the chair. (I never sit behind my table.) The vest is a reader magnet. Women, mostly, will come over and chat about the TV show before they buy a book. Since I'm a fan, it's easy to engage in conversation.
I wrap Crime Scene tape around the top of the table.
I usually work with at least one other writer. We've been doing this so long that we know each other's books and patter. We cross-sell all the time.
With this all in mind, two weekends ago my dear friend and fellow mystery writer, Sally Roseveare, and I packed up my car and took off for Danville, VA to Brewed Awakening, a coffee house that had recently opened in the historic tobacco warehouse district. We knew the owners from a previous coffee house over in Martinsville, so when Bonnie Hale posted that she was doing the spring festival, we jumped at the chance.
Perfect location in the historic district. Book sellers lined up along the sidewalk on either side of the coffee house across the street from ample parking at a community market. A wine festival was across the street in the market. Sally brings a stuffed black Lab, because one is featured in her Smith Mountain Lake mystery series. A kid magnet if there ever was one.
We were all dressed up and ready for the festival.
We weren't expecting rain. Even with the canopy, mist blew in and dampened our table. There is nothing like liquid of any kind to ruin our product. We baled. Rain drove the street traffic away too.
We'll be back again next year, weather and time permitting. Next time, we'll do a sun dance. We've had enough rain...
What else did I forget?
What else did I forget?