Over the past several years, I've attended a lot of events as an author and more lately as an artist. I don't attend the same events every year. Some I decide to attend because they sound interesting, others because I think the venue has potential, and still others because the registration is either so cheap or free as to justify cramming it into my schedule. Over the years I have begun to get a feel for what's "reasonable" when it comes to vendor registration fees—or, at least, what's reasonable for me.
This year, I've begun keeping a more formal record of event revenue and expenses to better track event results. They don't always match my gut instincts. Thus far my profitable events (revenue minus expenses [not including mileage or time] have been:
Of those five, I earned the most at the Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market Extravaganza, although the hours worked were brutal that weekend.
If I calculate mileage and the cost of my time, none of the events made any profit whatsoever.
The highest earnings came from Oddmall: Inside Out and the Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market Extravaganza. The registration fee, hotel expenses, and per diem food expenses eclipsed what I earned at Oddmall. With next year's vendor registration fee rising, it's not a sustainable commercial venture for me. The Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market Extravaganza brought in the most money, but working more than 30 hours over a 3-day weekend was really, really hard on me.
The Hocking Hills Book Fair, formerly the Monday Creek Publishing Book Fair, is a second-year event for me. This year it was held on the second floor of the Logan Theater in Logan, Ohio. Location not on the main pedestrian pathway often proves problematic, but organizer Gina McKnight did a great job of directing people to the event. The event piggybacked on the Washboard Festival, a public street fair still recovering from COVID-19 shutdown protocols. My best friend, Cindra (the artist who accompanies me and often sells her paintings alongside mine), suggested looking into registering as a vendor at the 2024 Washboard Festival. We'll look into that.
The upshot? I did better than expected at the Hocking Hills Book Fair, if not as well as I'd hoped. You see, I always go into every event with sky-high hopes. I suppose I'm doomed to disappointment, because hope springs eternal.
I recently became aware of two more book-oriented events: The Columbus Book Expo hosted by the Columbus Public Library and Beyond the Read Author Event, also held in Columbus, Ohio. I'll be checking into these events for next year.
So, what's next in this year's calendar?
Zinnia Days is coming up on June 24 and 25 in Xenia, Ohio. After that is Art on the Hill & Wine Tasting on July 8 in Mantua, Ohio. No overnight accommodations will be necessary for either event, so that eases the expense side. Then I've got some time off while my husband travels to Alaska to visit our son. (I'm staying home, because someone has to take care of the animals. When I'm away, my husband takes care of the animals. Since I'm away more often than he is, I don't begrudge him this vacation.)
In other news: Champion of the Twin Moons is available for pre-order! This book is a bit of a departure from the others in the series in that it more closely follows the hero than it does the heroine. I hope you enjoy it.