I've been getting ready to participate in Book 'Em this Saturday. It's an event held in Lumberton at Robeson Community College featuring lots of authors, panels, and book sales. I've gone before, but this year I will be a participant and have a table to display and sell my books. Part of the earnings will go to Book 'Em's literacy program. The idea is to Educate, not Incarcerate. In other words, a youth who reads is less likely to get into trouble.
Getting ready doesn't mean making sure I have books to sell, although that is probably the most important. I need to get people to stop at my table. So I am handing out bookmarks, and little bags of candy that include information about my books. I need signage, so I printed out some signs and now I need something to display them on, like a small easel. I think I have some somewhere... oh, and a tablecloth.
I'm so afraid of forgetting something. It isn't as if I can make the hour and a half trip back home to fetch it! A camera? Good idea.
What I like is I don't have to worry about making change. Volunteers do all the checking out. I hope my biggest problem will be deciding what to write if someone asks me to autograph their purchase.
This is a bigger problem than you might suppose. I have seen other authors post that they have no idea what to write besides their name. Inspirational authors write Bible verses. I usually end up writing something stupid/silly and wish I could grab the book back and say, "No, no, let me do that again."
As you can tell, I'm both nervous and excited. It's one thing to do a booksigning at the local library or arts council when you know everyone and they are already disposed to be kind. It's another to have someone pick up your book and toss it back on the table in disinterest.
It's like someone looking in the buggy and saying, "My, what an ugly baby!"
Won't happen, of course. People who love books enough to come to a book fair are generally fun to meet and talk to.
And I'm looking forward to meeting lots of readers, and hopefully gain them as fans.
Wish me luck!