Saturday, April 18, 2009

A day at the BookFest

I intended to put up a new post this morning but ran out of time last night and have been gone all day to the Southern Kentucky BookFest in Bowling Green. So let's talk about that and other such venues.

At the SoKyBookFest, which is how it's abbreviated at their website, 150 authors of all kinds of books, fiction, non-ficvtion, children's, whatever, were seated at rows of tables in the Sloan Convention Center. When we arrived for the 9:00 a.m. opening, our tables were crowded with books ordered by the local Barnes & Noble store. Across one end of the hall were larger tables for 20 Featured Headliners, including Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo, and Jill Conner Browne, author of six Sweet Potato Queen books.

The marathon book signing session went on until 4:00 p.m. The crowd was decent but didn't seem as large as the last time I was there. I saw several buyers with armloads of books, but a frequent lament I heard was "I can't afford to buy much."

One woman told of being laid off from work last year and saving her pennies to pay her bills. Others said they saw lots of books they would like but had to pass them up.

My last two books, The Surest Poison and The Marathon Murders, were available at my table, a total of 30 books. One woman was a reader of the DorothyL listserve who said she had read about me there and had to get a book. Another had seen my books at the Kentucky Book Fair last November but failed to get one. Quite a few took bookmarks and will look for a book later, hopefully.

A woman who said she preferred to read a series in order marked down the first three Greg McKenzie books and said she would order them on-line. I sold 11 books, but I didn't feel bad when I saw the stacks of books left at tables across from mine.

All-in-all, it wasn't a bad day, though it certainly could have been better. Following my standard signing routine, I ignored the chair and stood behind my table all day. I like to look people eye-to-eye. Plus I can lean forward and converse with them better while standing. My gravelly voice doesn't carry far, making it difficult to be understood at times.

Sunday is my book launch party for The Surest Poison. It will be from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at my church, City Road Chapel United Methodist Church in Madison, TN. It'll be a real party atmosphere, complete with a cake bearing the book cover in icing. I'll post a picture of it.

I'll sit the whole time for the signing. You can do that with a captive audience.

Like to win copies of my books? Visit the sites I'm guest blogging during my Blog Book Tour through May 1. For where I'll be and details of the drawings, scroll down to my April 6 post Win Books on The Surest Poison tour.

Check out my book covers at the left side of the page and click one for more information, including where to buy, opening chapters, and reviews. And if there's a book fair or fest in your area, be sure to go. They're great for finding new books and authors.


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I think 11 books is a good days work! Congratulations.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Morgan Mandel said...

If people can't afford to buy my books and they seem interested, I always suggest ordering from the library. Libraries are sales also.

Morgan Mandel

Chester Campbell said...

I agree, Jane. I was happy with the results, though I had hoped to do better.

Good idea, Morgan. A couple of people who stopped by my table indicated they would get the books at the library. I said if the library doesn't have it, ask them to order it. She replied that's what I do.