Thursday, August 19, 2010

Talk of the Town (The Fair Day 2)

Today was interesting, because it gave me some idea of what it's like to be a celebrity. Stories about KMS and me hit both local papers today, so a TON of people stopped with remarks like, "You're the author!" "I read about you!" "So you're the one!" A popular local hairdresser told me that everyone has been asking her about my book and whether or not she's read it. As I'm sure you know, the barber/hairdresser is a classic hub for news in small communities, so this was good news.

The posters arrived about midday, so in select cases where a sale was made, or someone was strongly considering it, I gave them a signed poster. It's really heartwarming to watch a kid walk away staring wide-eyed into a signed poster. The posters really boosted my sell-through rate. They get people excited almost like the flip of a switch at times.

I sold 17 pre-orders today, bringing my total to 29. I estimate I would have sold 60 or more today if I'd had books on hand. Many, many people chose to stop in Saturday in the hope that the shipment of books will arrive by then. Several others opted to buy a copy from the local bookstore, so they can support a local author and a local business owner at the same time. Which brings me to the first thing I learned.

What I Learned:
-Support. I received some great support today in the form of friends, family, my fourth grade teacher, opting to buy a book. People like to support their locals. "Are you from here?" is the second most question asked to "Are you the author?" The latter would be solved if my banner would get here. Today, I got excited because I got a package from the banner printer. But it was just the banner stand with carrying case.

-My location isn't terrific. Nice people on both sides of the aisle, but everyone is, like me, selling/promoting something. I started off the week by standing in front of my booth, stopping nearly everyone who walked by and offering them a free bookmark, then telling them about my book. But that just caused people to avoid me like the plague. So I tried staying in my booth and waiting for people to pause with interest, and that worked better. The majority still plow through there with only short glances to either side, not wanting to give the salesmen any indication of interest. Today, most of my customers were looking for me because of the stories in the paper. And several mentioned having trouble finding me. Oh well.

-Several small attacks are better than a siege. When I talk to people who have never heard of Kestrel's Midnight Song, even if I hand them bookmarks, posters, newspaper articles, and give them the whole spiel, it's not as effective as if someone handed them a bookmark, then someone mentioned it to them later, then they saw the story in the newspaper, and finally happened upon my booth over the course of a couple days.

-Not many people know what an ARC is. My tongue is getting a bit tired of saying "ARC" and explaining to people that they can't buy the ARC because it's just for display until the books arrive, when really all I want to do is hand them a book so they'll be happy. On the bright side, my hometown could become the most publishing-world-literate in the world by Sunday. :)

-There have been a few special cases where I parted with an ARC, such as an airplane flight that night, or a language barrier where I couldn't explain what the deal was. This morning, a man walked in, handed me ten dollars for a book, no questions asked. Apparently his son had gotten an ARC the day before, and they'd read some together later that night. They really liked it, so he had come to buy one for his nephew.

-As I mentioned before, it's really, really fun to watch small kids walking away staring up into a signed poster half as big as they are with wide eyes.

-Almost before I went home, a couple of ladies walked by rather quickly. One spotted my poster and said, "Oh, that's that movie," to the other. She had a definite prophetic air about her. ;-) Any guesses as to what movie she was thinking of?

-The proof copy arrived today (from the printer.) It's absolutely gorgeous. I kept taking it off the stand to look through it. And just in time. I was down from five ARCs to two.

Long day again tomorrow!


R.P.H said...

Way too cool my friend! I'm really happy for you and so excited :-) I can't wait to get my copy of KMS! Thanks for sharing your adventures with KMS at your local fair with us.

BTW... I'm so sorry that I missed your online book party. I ended up being at work way longer than I thought I would be. I sadly missed the end of your party by thirty minutes.I'm still bummed out about it, but it looked and sounded like your party went well :-)

God's care,

Kat Heckenbach said...

I am SO excited for you! And I'm taking notes on all of this, so when I finally get published I have an idea of what works and what doesn't.

Thanks for posting your experiences with this. It's great seeing the process and getting to cheer you on through it :).

Nahla of the Eastern Winds said...

AH!!! congrats!!!!!!! :D:D:D

Seth said...

Hey, I noticed something on can't find the button to buy the book. Was it removed?

Star-Dreamer said...

This is all just too cool. I love reading about your journey through the publishing world. And now I'm excited too, because I recieved a request for a full in the mail yesterday. I hope it all works out well. Keep your fingers crossed and pray.

And double good luck on your book. It must be one of the most exciting events in your life!

Galadriel said...

Ooo...keep updating, this is really encouraging.

Jacob R Parker said...

Ryan: Sorry you missed the party. :( And I really hope you enjoy KMS. I want to get those out to everyone as soon as they hit my doorstep simply because I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks.

Kat: Thanks! I'm glad you're getting something out of it.

Nahla: Thanks!

Seth: Yeah, I took it down to make room for something else cool. :) I hadn't received orders through that in quite a while. Plus, I wanted to simplify; I don't want to have to worry about shipping out those orders while on tour. My recommendation to you would be to wait a few days for Amazon to lower their price (it should go under $11.51) and then pounce!

Galadriel: I plan to! I'm glad you find it encouraging.

Jacob R Parker said...

Star-dreamer: That is terrific! I definitely hope that works out for you.