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    Well, I’ve done my first book fair/signing. Was it everything I expected? Yes and no. I wouldn’t deem the event as a major success, but I’m a realist and have learned that no matter the planning, life happens. Even with all the advertising and promotion leading up to the day, we had absolutely no foot traffic. Sadly, the authors outnumbered the participants.  Like I said, life happens. Holiday weekends offer many things to do. Unfortunately attending an open house and book fair wasn’t a high priority. In a famous quote from a late dear friend, “You’ll have that!”

 Am I disappointed? Absolutely not! It was a learning experience. I actually had a great time and came away with networking experience. I met fellow authors, and we shared ideas and experiences. I learned presentation. I'm not sure how well my display drew yet. We’ll learn that next time.

 I still haven’t overcome my shyness of crowds. The techniques I planned, will be saved for next time. I already overcome shyness at antique tractor shows. It’s a simple tactic. I focus and relax. I just be myself. It works at antique tractor shows. Maybe no one notices my shyness because they’re too focused on my tractor display? Books on display, just like tractors, should work just the same.

 I mentioned the idea of my bringing an antique tractor to lure a crowd, but host Judy Snyder and I nixed the thought. It would have been fun for me to gauge the reactions of “city” folk exploring the sight of a tractor. The original logistic plan, for me, would have made that idea more difficult anyway. Security and damage liability were a major concern. I’m heavily insured, but that’s still a worry.  I do plan to use that draw sometime. The experiment will be conducted closer to home. The topic was broached during our author networking. Several thought the idea original and unique.

   Another author thought a live band and alcohol would draw a crowd. Sure, it would, but not for the crowd we were seeking. For one thing, we were a family-friendly advent, with three children’s authors. I won’t even go into why that wasn’t a great idea. What amazed me was a children’s author suggested it!

  Judy and I shared a display table. It was an outdoor event, I actually attended totally prepared for only the space reserved. Our table was under my canopy. The shade was definitely needed. Sunny and 75 degrees.  If you recall, from my previous article Anticipation, my “consultants” had not completely decided on a color for the table covering. The decision was yellow. I found that to be a great choice.

 Only one other author brought a table covering. I was very surprised that I was the only person to bring shade and chairs. Maybe I overthink the planning. Judy and I became quite popular when we invited everyone to join us under the shade. Our round table discussions were held in shady comfort.

Anyway, I’ve now had the experience of a book signing.

Rick Shaw

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