It’s mid-March and my busy season has kicked off. For me, that means from now until right before Christmas, I’ll be selling books or presenting workshops three to four weekends a month. Plus, throw in a few presentations and classes during the week. This is on top of the normal writing, marketing, and research I do during the week.
I’ll be busy for the next nine months, but I enjoy it mostly (not counting all the rainy festivals I worked in 2018). It’s nice to get out and meet my readers and hear what they liked and didn’t like about stories. When the weather is nice, it’s wonderful to be outside. I also dictate a lot of notes and scenes between customers.
Getting ready for a festival is like trying to figure out a Chinese puzzle box in reverse. First, I have to decide how many copies of each title to take. As my son says, “You want to come home with one copy of every book.” That way, you know you didn’t miss any sales, but you don’t have to bring home excess inventory.
Then I have to make sure I have everything I’ll need for the event, such as a tent, tables, money to make change, signs, etc. I have forgotten things occasionally, and it can ruin an event. For instance, forgetting to take a tent when it is calling for rain. I did that once, and had to drive an hour and a half back home, load my tent, turn around and drive and an hour and a half back to my hotel.
Once I have gathered everything, I have to pack my Prius. Believe it or not, you can get a lot in that small car. It takes a lot of finagling to make it fit, but after years of doing this, it is second nature as to what goes where.
The loading and unloading of my car and set up is my workout for the day. Lifting and walking with boxes of boxes will definitely help you get stronger!
I have managed to carve out a summer vacation in the middle of all this activity. I’d much rather get away in the winter, but when you have a child in school, your window of opportunity is limited.
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