I spent the past weekend at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California. Being my first foray into the convention scene as an author, it was quite a learning experience.
Traveling from southern California, my son and I took an early morning flight, hauling heavy luggage stuffed with books, props, and supplies. After a 4:45 am rise, we arrived at the event at 9:45 am, just fifteen minutes before it opened. We quickly set the booth up and were ready for interested readers!
From 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday, I stood before my little tent and greeted attendees. I met some great readers and supportive fellow authors, handed out over a hundred bookmarks, and sold twenty-one signed copies of my book. While I had hoped to sell more copies, my results appear to be a bit better than average and were far better than many other exhibitors.
In addition to the direct sales, I also was able to create awareness about my book and the upcoming sequels, doing so in a region outside of my local territory. Hopefully, the readers who purchased The Buried Symbol, at the event and afterward, love the book and tell their friends. Word-of-mouth remains the main driving factor for book discovery and purchase. You have to start that snowball somewhere, hoping it grows quickly and continues to roll forward.
Similar to any first-time experience, I learned a lot by attending the book fest. That knowledge will help me be more prepared for future author events. I'm sincerely looking forward to that first public event that includes fans seeking me out because they love my novels and wish to meet the author. That's the real reward for all the hard work that goes into being an author (although making money helps too). I love my readers!
Pictures of the event are included below for your entertainment. Yes, many people spun the wheel to determine their vocation. I found that many people approached me, just to ask what the wheel was and what the runes meant. That allowed me to tell them a bit about the book and spurred some added sales.
Post a message if you have any questions or comments about the event!