This post by Gayle M. Irwin
On Saturday I sat at a booth at the Winter Maker’s Market, a monthly vendor experience operated by Wyoming Food for Thought. The organization helps feed children in need and operates a farmer’s market in downtown Casper during summer months.
I participated in last month’s Winter Maker’s Market as well. Booth space is only $20, and my first sale on Saturday paid that fee with change left over. By the end of the four hours, I had fared well, but didn’t make as much as I’d hoped, considering there are two weeks until Christmas (actually less as this post goes live). Sales started strong but cratered by Noon, and when someone took the stage to sing during the final hour, customers left – the music was too loud to engage in conversation. I will certainly let the organizers know that rock’n’roll music during a December event, especially when the music detracts conversing with customers, is not the best way to conduct a holiday fair.
My children’s books sold the best; my dog devotions barely moved. That discouraged me, especially since it’s Christ-mas. However, my spirits were lifted when a woman came to my table who said she had my devotion books, thoroughly enjoyed them, then preceded to purchase three children’s books and two of my Tail Tales books, one for herself and one as a gift to a pet-loving friend. I was elated! Meeting “fans” is so encouraging!
I have one more fair to attend later this week – an event called the Artisan’s Market. It’s new to the community this year. Writer friends of mine participated in November and said they did well; I’m hoping I’ll follow in their footsteps for the December event.
It’s fun to explore new ways to sell books and meet readers. I love engaging people, and when they learn I donate part of my book sale proceeds to local rescue organizations, they get excited knowing that together, as writer and reader, we’re helping animals in need.
I may not attend summer county – or state – fairs, with rides, games, and such, but I do enjoy a holiday fair, especially when I can connect with readers, sell books, and help homeless pets. Now, if only I can find a way to “bottle it all up” and “fare” as well with online sales.
How do you engage readers virtually? I’d love to hear your thoughts and “secret sauce” for effectively selling online. What are some of your most effective marketing and networking strategies for selling your works?
Gayle M. Irwin is the author of several inspirational pet stories for children and adults. She enjoys weaving life lessons, such as courage, perseverance, friendship, faith, trust, and self-confidence into her stories. Gayle is also a contributing writer to six Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She enjoys helping pet rescue organizations and donates a percentage of her book sales to such groups. Her second volume of Devotions for Dog Lovers titled Sage Advice (print version) is discounted 50% for the holiday season when purchased directly from the author (a “Christmas Color Book Cover” sale!) — on sale for just $5.50 until December 20th. Learn more at www.gaylemirwin.com.