You like that? I got all artsy and French in the title. Good, huh? You can just see me sitting in a cafe wearing a beret smoking cloves, right? Ew. Don’t visualize. And fuck the French, cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
Okay, got that outta my system anyway. So last night was the second night of the All Arts Market at the Neighborhood Theatre, and it was significantly better than Day 1. Not only did I get my spot moved from the absolute ass-end of the frigid hallway into a room with other people, there were people buying things, too. I sold one book all night on Wednesday, and by the end of the night last night I’d sold eight books and bartered four more with other artisans. I traded books with Martique, another local writer and artist, and traded a book to my neighbor Desta (website coming live soon) for a great photo of a patina blue hippo, and swapped a book for some hand-painted bookmarks by another chick who was in the same room selling stuff. Of course then I promptly lost most of the business cards from the people who I traded stuff with, because I was woefully unprepared for self-promotion at this event.
You’d think I’d be better than that, after years of promoting my theatre company, Barbizon and myself as a poker writer, but I didn’t even have a tablecloth (that was bartered for another book) much less business cards. I did at least have pens and books, and some cash to make change for folks, so I wasn’t a complete waste of space. But if I’m going to sell books at these arts shows, I’m gonna need to step up my game a little. I enjoyed it, I like talking to people about poetry and about writing, but I’m also thinking that maybe the format of RTF isn’t exactly right for sales. Because it’s a collection of stories and poetry it makes it harder to get people to wrap their heads around the book. When I opened a copy to a couple of poems and encouraged people to read a poem or two, they got a handle on things, but when I just left it laying there closed people were less willing to pick up a copy and leaf through. I guess they didn’t wanna crack the spine and make it unsellable or whatever. So I’ll get a tablecloth and some business cards, and the next book I publish will be either all poetry or all stories (or Choices, it’s not dead I promise).
I also met a woman from the local storyteller’s guild, which meets every month at a Barnes & Noble, so I’ll check them out. I owe her that much – she bought a book. Still time to get your orders in for Christmas – click the button on the sidebar to order! (I’m re-learning the art of shameless self-promotion)