I restricted event participation this year to local events, which proved to be a smart decision on my part. Of the four events I attended, the latest was on December 15 in my hometown, Springfield. To be perfectly candid, it didn't go well. Most of the 16 participating authors sold nothing.
I have no complaints with regard to the venue: that was satisfactory as far as accommodations go. Event planners can't control the weather, so the day's cold, dreary drizzle likely put the kibosh on any desire people may have had to attend. Higher Ground Books & Media were well-organized, so no gripes on that score. The timing--two weekends before Christmas--was good and should have inspired attendance, so I can't chew on sour grapes for a scheduling conflict.
Therefore, what do I have to complain about?
Truly, I have no complaints, just confirmation of my opinion that it's best to hold an event such as this where people already like to gather. A conference room tucked away in a hotel ain't that.
If you read this blog, then you'll know we're already gearing up for the Winter Book Fair in February. We have five registrations remaining, due to one cancellation. (She's moving to Florida in early February.) The Winter Book Fair has some pros and cons for participating vendors to consider:
I think the pros outweigh the cons, especially considering the value authors get for their registration fees.
Maybe we'll grow to the size where the brewery can no longer accommodate us. If that happens, we'll need to make a decision as to which is in participating authors' best interest and, perhaps, consider piggybacking on the crowd-drawing attraction of another event. I know of two organizations that already do that: Basement Health Association holds an annual membership meeting and workshop in conjunction with the World of Concrete in Las Vegas, NV, and the North American Power Sweepers Association holds their annual convention in conjunction with the National Pavement Expo. It works well for them.
Higher Grounds Books & Media is considering holding their third annual author fair in conjunction with another group, perhaps at a craft fair or some such type of event: preferably at a venue that draws a good crowd. I'll wait to see the promotional material before deciding whether to give it another try.
FYI to those who regularly read this blog: I will be on vacation--and unplugged--from December 22 through January 1. Go ahead and send me an email message or post a comment, just don't expect a response until after New Year's Day.
#SpringfieldOHBookFair #HollyBargoBooks #HenHousePublishing
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