Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Last weekend I [wo]manned a booth with four other She Writes Press authors at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Having been super COVID cautious over the past two years, I was apprehensive about the prospect of being among crowds, as well as occupying close quarters with four other people, some of whom had been out and about for weeks, maybe months. Still, I knew it was time to step outside my comfort zone. I figured I’d mask up, keep my distance from others as much as possible, and hope for the best. But when I arrived, no one was masked, and oddly, I didn’t feel the need to don one. It was as if I’d returned to the world, and everything was normal again. It felt amazing to connect with people in-person. Saturday morning, a woman sprayed saliva while speaking, and instead of worrying about catching COVID, I saw the humor in it: me with my health anxieties, uber COVID cautious for over two years, coming face-to-face with a sialoquent within my first hour out. It was comical to me; I laughed. But I digress.
Have you ever considered selling books at a festival? Want to know what it’s like? This post may shed light on the ins and outs, but hold everything you read lightly, because the perks also came with challenges, and the challenges also came with perks. Let’s begin.
In the car going home Sunday night, my husband asked, “Would you do it again?” Not anytime soon, I thought, but my response was, “I don’t know.” Now that I’ve had a couple days to rest and reflect, I’d say yes. Definitely. It was fun. But I couldn’t have done it alone. The booth rental was $1,250.00, which we split five ways, and although the booth was cramped, we made it work. Each author contributed to our overall success. One woman took care of festival business and booth administration, another handled the bulk of our bundle sales, another presented great ideas at our planning meeting. I provided an additional table and chairs and hosted the planning meeting. Another provided candy and kindness. Five felt like the right number. Four could work, but each person would have to be willing to take on more expenses and responsibilities.
Reflecting on my experience at the festival, my advice to authors considering hosting a booth would be: Don’t be attached to the outcome. Go in with an open mind. Have fun. Connect with people. Have conversations. Be authentic—and most of all, enjoy yourself!
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