Sunday, October 13, 2019

Books and Crabs... a lesson from the trenches

I usually try to write to appeal to readers, but today, I'm making an exception. This is for writers, and readers who want to see the man behind the curtain.

I recently participated in the West Point (Virginia) Crab Carnival as a vendor. Two friends and I, with riparian themed books, participated and here’s a smattering of what I learned. Although this isn’t my first time around the festival block, I always learn something new.
  • Don't expect to actually sell books. That's not the point at all.
  • The point is networking, name recognition, and goodwill. 
  • I know you're an introvert but bring your social face.
  • Bring more books than you expect to sell... just in case.
  • Know where the bathrooms/port-a-potties are located. You'll be giving a lot of people directions.
  • Know your audience. (Bring appropriate enticements to lure them in.)
  • Plan for inclement weather. (This was an outdoor event and we had beautiful weather, but oh, the wind.
  • Bring enough change to make change... for yourself and others in need.
  • Don't forget your Square reader or similar device for taking credit card purchases.
  • Appropriate (and easy to assemble/disassemble) tables, chairs, props, tents, etc.

So now, go out there and have fun! Practice makes perfect! See you next year!


  1. Sofie, I hope you had a great time at your festival. I love doing them and this is the time of year they crank up along our Gulf Coast. I look forward to doing them and really do sell quite a few books. I have painted items so I have different thing to pull people into the booths. Hope you sold plenty of books at yours.

  2. Hi Sofie--
    Thank you for the great event advice! It sounds like you had a lot fun and made good connections. I hope you sold some books, too.

  3. Wonderful advice< especially the last bit: "go out there and have fun". I had to learn all these things the hard way.

  4. You inspire me! Being shy, I find sitting at tables waiting for someone to come by and buy my book excruciating, but I'm tempted to take a page from your practice and bring candy giveaways and change and put on my social face. Next time!