Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pictures and Video! (The Fair Day 4)

Sorry for the delay on the final post for the fair. I was waiting for a video interview to show up. More on that later...
The cool thing about Saturday is that I sold...
62 books! Then I sold 2 more the next day during clean-up. And thus I passed both my day and week goals. 64 (60), 141 (100) Speaking of numbers, my brain was so tired on Day 3's post that I forgot how to perform addition. AND NONE OF YOU NOTICED IT! Hahahahaha! ;)

The other cool thing about Saturday is that word-of-mouth started to really pay dividends. For example, a grandmother walked in and told me that her grandson's friends had told him about the book, so she had come to buy one for him. It doesn't get much better than that.
Also, I performed a spontaneous video interview. Filming literally started seconds after I knew I was about to be interviewed, which made it that much more fun! My interview skills aren't the greatest. I need to cap off all my sentences, inject some humor, stop moving around, and stop stuttering. But I was grateful for the opportunity, because now I see where I need to improve and I can learn from it. You can watch it HERE. Oh, and I messed up in one of my responses. The "There's a word for a writer..." thing is actually from the bio on J.A. Konrath's blog. It popped into my head, and when I'm at a loss for words I tend to spew whatever's in my brain.

This habit could end up being rather dangerous someday... ("Your wig is shaped like Abraham Lincoln!")

What I learned: This is kind of a combination of what I learned at the fair and in the past few days. It's rather important, so those of you with books coming out in the future, heed my words of wise wisdom. *Drumroll* Fairs are good.

But it's more than that. Sure, the newspapers were the biggest difference-maker. But the fact that I was at the fair was equally important. If the newspaper had advertised a store signing, my numbers wouldn't have been near what they were because people would have had to make a special trip. With the fair, everyone was planning on going anyway. Plus, the traffic is waaaay better than you get at bookstores.

But here's the kicker. My hope was to begin touring in early September, but when I started making the calls to get it scheduled, libraries and bookstores didn't want to talk about it until they could see my book in their system. Now that it's in their system, they are booked for over a month. This means over a month of down time. If I'd known fairs were such great places to sell books, I would have filled the first two months of my book's release with fair events. They don't need to see the book in their system, but as I've learned through many fruitless phone calls over the past few days, the sooner you sign up, the better.

Moral of the story: If you have a small publisher, late July is a good time to release a book. As soon as it releases, call bookstores/libraries and set up your tour. While you're waiting, hit all those fairs you signed up for ages ago.

Notes: Partially to drive my above point home. I just finished a phone call with a librarian in which I scheduled my first booksigning! It will be on... October 27th. That's two months plus four days.

The future:
I had hoped to get into a nearby fair, much bigger, where I'm still technically local and could therefore possibly get another story in the newspaper, but I was much too late. This bummed me at first, but now I accept that when God closes one door he opens another. So I'm looking for other doors. I might have managed to sneak into a small fair in Eureka, Montana this weekend. I'm waiting for a call on that. If so, I'll loop through Kalispell and Missoula, meeting managers and sales personnel, and handing out sales sheets and posters.

The nearer future: Catching up on email... Some of my emails came over a month ago, so it is time. I just thought I'd add that for those of you awaiting a response.


Jacob R Parker said...

UPDATE: I just got a phone call. I'm in the Eureka fair! Woohoo!

Chris said...

ah, you used pictures from gmail didn't you? sooo, unless you want to give us all the information to log into your gmail account, we cant see the pictures :P

Jacob R Parker said...

Ah, thanks Chris. I didn't think I was going to get away with that. Too easy to be true. I think it's fixed now.

Storyteller said...

Awesomeness!!! Praying for you still!

ajfcello said...

Hey Jacob! I'm new to your blog and when I saw that you are a writer, I got really excited!! I'm a writer too! Though 2 years younger. : ) I started when I was about 10 and have finished 3 books and am working on my 4th. I have not gotten them 'professionally' published, just self published on creatspace. What kind of contract do you have to sign with Flaming Pen Press? What are the Royalties like? Thanks!

Mackenzie Evans Marts said...

Glad to hear the fair worked out so well! Sorry you couldn't get into more. All living and learning right? Hopefully a few more like this one will come your way. :)

Jacob R Parker said...

Thanks ST!

Anna: Glad to meet you! I love meeting other writers. I can't go into details about what's in my contract. But I can say that it is a traditional publisher that pays an advance and royalties without charging anything for production costs. Congratulations on finishing three books!

Mackenzie: Thanks! And they did! I got into a smaller fair this weekend and a pretty big one September 10th. :)

ajfcello said...

Thanks, Jacob! I think I'll check it out! : )

Andrew K. York said...

So is Kestrel's Midnight Song released? (Sorry if I'm behind, I've been at a conference and haven't had much time for internet...)

I just read all your posts on the fair and it sounds like a great experience!

Seth Skogerboe said...

Where's the vid?