I attended Colorfest in Thurmont, Md., this past weekend. It was my first time there as a vendor. The weather was great and the crowds large. It’s billed as the largest craft show in Maryland, attracting an estimated 60,000 people over the weekend.
I had heard stories from other vendors about how good a show it is and so I had overpacked for the show. At least I thought I did.
I was selling books even before the show officially opened. I like to talk to the people who stop my booth, but from around 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days, it was so busy that I barely had time to sign the books and run the charges. At times, I had lines of people waiting to get my books.
That really made my writer’s ego feel great, and it was fun. However, one of the problems with being a writer at a festival that runs all day is that you need to be at your booth for your readers. They buy books wanting to get the author’s signature. That means I can’t look around at other booths and I can’t leave to get lunch. I also have to make sure my booth is close to the bathrooms because when nature calls, I have to run to the bathroom, be quick about it, and hurry back.
Anyway, by the end of the weekend, I had sold out of a third of my titles and another third had just a copy of two left. That made it easy to pack up Sunday evening. I had gotten to talk to hundreds of readers and potential readers, which was great. It’s something that I always enjoy.
If you’re a writer, don’t overlook craft festivals as a marketing venue. I find that for me, I sell more books there than when I attend a book festival.
The weekend did exhaust me, but it also left me energized to get back to my writing.