Reposted from 9/2009
I want to send a Happy Birthday wish to the website publetariat.com. The web team is looking for contest entries from blogs that fit their criteria which is listed on the website. For self published authors or anyone thinking about self publishing, this is an excellent site to learn about our craft. Topics on the main page are written by people who already have experience in the publishing field. Topics include how to write, design a book, tips on publishing, how to sell a book and much more. Self published authors need all the help they can get. Keep track of the articles on this site. Treat what you read as a tool to make you a better author from writing to sales.
Tuesday was my usual blog post day. I had an entirely different post written, but I got distracted. Things happen for a reason. I truly believe that. This morning I found an email. It was from the publetariat web team inviting me to enter in their contest. They had posted the following entry on the main page last fall, thinking that what I did to prepare for a book sale might be of help to other authors. So this is the blog post that I chose for their contest. If you want to enter, deadline is March 6 at midnight PST. Entry is free.
Let it be known that I’m not one of the experienced writers that usually make the main page. Most of what I do as a self published author is by a try and fail method then I work on improving the next time and keep going. My blog tells about my life and publishing experiences and describes the books I’ve written. What did surprise and delighted me was the publetariat email states that my blog entries get a respectable view count. I recently read that the blog title needs to be interesting just like the title for a book. The title sparks readers interest and gets them to explore the post entry. Perhaps, sparking interest is what I’ve done right.
Preparing For A Book Sale
Friday, Civil War Days begins in Belle Plaine, Iowa. I’m going to sell my books in the park on the fringes of North versus south battles. So am I ready?
I’ve watched the weather forecasts. Looks like perfect days for having a table full of books outside. To help the customers visually see what kind of books I write, I made place cards that states the genre to place by each pile of books. It would be a good thing if the wind wasn’t too strong, or I will spend time chasing those place cards down. Also, the bookmarkers I printed that list my inventory and address for future reference.
I’ve been doing a mental list in my head this morning. It has taken a lot of preparation for this three day event. I’ve got an aluminum folding table left over from my craft sale days. (Those craft sales are where I learned some salesmanship.) An Indian blanket for a table cover, doesn’t go along with the Civil War but in that century. Dressing in a pioneer dress and wearing a bonnet should give me some attention. (How did I come by a pioneer dress and bonnet? I revamped a dress and sewed the bonnet years ago when I volunteered at Usher Ferry in Cedar Rapids. I was spinning in a one room log cabin as the woman who lived there. When visitors came in, I had to tell them about my life. It was fun to act the part.) I still have my money box from craft show days (a small fishing tackle box). It’s perfect with a top divided shelf for change and the bottom for bills. I bought a mesh folding chair with a canopy top so I wouldn’t have to sit in direct sunlight. Haven’t had it out of the bag to see if I can set it up. Every time I buy something in a bag or box that needs put together, I’ve found it a struggle to put the object back in the bag. So guess I’ll wing putting the chair together in the park after I have the table set up.
After some fall house cleaning, I found a four by four poster board upstairs to use for a sign to lean against the table. This advertisement shows that I am a local person. That might help get me some interest if not sales. So I printed large banners and tacked them to the poster board. The sign reads Keystone Author Fay Risner - Book Sale - Featuring - Ella Mayfield’s Pawpaw Militia . On each side of the Book Sale line was a blank space so I put a picture of my book cover on one side and a Confederate Flag on the other. That definitely states which side of the war I’m on. Figured I might as well join. You can’t hear it in my writing, but I have a southern accent. That would be a dead give away if I tried to join the Union forces. They might shoot me for a spy.
I have no idea where I am to set up. The man I talked to said I could be by a building where reenactors sell their wares. Guess someone will point me in the right direction.
Friday is the day the schools bring students to learn about the Civil War. I wanted to be a part of that education. Besides, a presentation will go along with my book. So I made up another poster board. While the reenactors will be talking military feats, I will be discussing Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers. A time line of the border war between Kansas territory and Missouri is on the poster. A large Missouri map dominates the board with stars for important places and Vernon County drawn in so the children can see where my history comes from.
I won’t have anyone to watch my table and I don’t know how far it will be to the concession stand. I baked an apple cake. That will be meals and snacks plus I’m taking a large container of ice tea.
My husband isn’t so sure all this stuff will fit in my small car. Best be prepared. Today I pack the car just to see how is the best way to fit everything in. It will be good to have that much done. I’ll have to get an early start to be set up before 9 a.m.
No matter what, this will be a fun experience going back in time amid the smell and explosions of gunpowder, war cries and crowd appreciation of the battles. Lincoln will give his Gettysburg Address, a church service will be held under the open sky and much more. I can’t wait to get there.