Throw Me Something, Mister
February 2, 2013
Ever been to Mardi Gras? It’s been years since I attended one. This year I am going to change that. On February 8th, 9th, and 10th of this year, I will be participating in the Jefferson, Texas version of Mardi Gras, along with several other authors in the area, Susan Earl from Grand Prairie, Texas, Edward Hancock II from Gilmer, Texas and Gale Minchew from East Texas. It’s a three day festival and I plan to be at most of it.
I spent last year touring all over East Texas doing book signings, speaking engagements, library features, book fests, and festivals. It was a fun packed year. The most fun I’ve had, and where I sold the most books, was at the festivals. People love festivals! What surprised me the most was how excited people were to meet authors and buy their books. Most festivals have a huge variety of products to sell. Anything from handcrafted plaques, jewelry, quilts, art, clothes, and tools. I wondered how local authors would do.
I was pleasantly surprised. The festivals closer to a larger metropolis were, of course, better than the small town festivals. However, the common thread to the festivals was the friendly people interested in what you were selling, even books. Whether I sold three books or twenty books didn’t matter to me. The wonderful contacts I made were priceless.
The most profitable festivals were Texas Country Reporter in Waxahachie, Texas, Funky Finds in Ft. Worth, Eco fest in Arlington, and Deck the Halls in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. I found many people followed the circuit and showed up at more than one of these festivals and remembered me! These people have become friends and followers and I keep in close touch with most of them.
The first really eye opening festival was in Waxahachie this year. Susan Earl and I manned our booth in 30 degree temperatures and sold books at a break neck speed. No one was more surprised than Susan and I. They spent time talking to us, reading excerpts from our books, and generally just being very friendly. My husband was with me and he made several runs for hot chocolate and corn dogs to keep us fueled. I was so excited after that, I couldn’t wait until the next festival.
Usually, as authors, we try to decorate our tables nicely, and look very professional in dress to present our books. Because of the weather (yes we were outside) Susan and I were dressed in heavy coats, and hoodies. It was freezing! It didn’t seem to matter to the festival goers! They marched right into our tent and visited like old friends.
At the Funky Finds Festival in Ft. Worth, it was the same way. Luckily, we were inside this time, but it was storming and pouring rain outside. We figured it would be a slow few days. On the contrary! Again, we set an all-time high in sales. There was a steady flow of traffic and people were very interested in our books. We had so much fun.
So, it is with excitement that I look forward to attending the Mardi Gras in Jefferson, Texas this year. Yes, we will be outside under a tent, but I am hoping the weather will cooperate. At any rate, I am looking forward to meeting new people and enjoying the festivities with these festival goers. I mean, food, crafts of all kinds, music, fellow authors, book lovers, and friendly people. What more could you ask?
I am really looking forward to running into some festival goers I’ve encountered in the past, too. That would be a real high light.
Throw me something, mister!
Patty Wiseman is author of An Unlikely Arrangement. Please click the book cover to read more about the novel or purchase a copy on Amazon. Patty can be reached at email@example.com, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, LinkedIn, and www.pattywiseman.net