Hey everyone. So I had such a wonderful day yesterday I wanted to write a blog post about it. As some of you may and some may not know, I attended my first book fair yesterday at the Gaithersburg book fest. When I received my packet via email just a few weeks ago, I’ll admit I was kind of nervous. More so about the fact that 1.I was really doing this and 2. that I had to be there at eight in the morning to start to unload. Well, with the place over an hour a way from me and that meant a very early morning and a long day to follow. When I arrived I feared missing my drop off time because of a train that seemed never ending. Worst of it was my GPS was off on the directions, which had me driving in circles for a while lol. Then, I couldn’t get in to turn on the road I needed not only because of the train but the backed up traffic that stood in my way. Not a great way to start my morning, and if things couldn’t have been worse it started drizzling on my windsheild. What? Only two days ago I had just checked the weather app on my Iphone and it said that Saturday would be a clear sunny 72 degrees. HA! I will be deleting that app right away. Forget the rain, I thought it would be warm and since I would be standing outside I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and capris. I digress.
After freaking out breifly in my mind about missing my window to drop off, there is a break in the traffic and I make my move. At the first stop a man in a green shirt welcomed me with a smile and wave and directed me further inside to my next check point. I began to feel like I was going through airport security with all these check points. I swear there were at least three or four. There a girl gave me what I later found out was bad directions which put me back out on the imfamous road that I had issues getting on in the first place LOL. Yeah I know. Well, after one more loop and telling the girl thanks but no thanks for her directions I made my own way around to my table. HA-33. Exhibitors Hall A. I am really not sure why they called it a hall to be honest. Because it was more like a long set of tables covered by a canopy. Since when is that defined as a hall? After I dropped most of my stuff, I realized I had to go to the bathroom. Damn. Again. What’s the problem you ask? Well, there’s the fact that I was alone, and still had to park and unload, and that I was walking around with a lot of cash in a locked cash box in my bookbag along with my laptop. Yeah I felt really weird walking around with it, fearing at any moment I might meet my demise for the contents that weighed heavy on my back. Luckily the parking lot was not a far walk and the place was swarming with cops. What a load off. But not my back LOL. I still had to carry that bookbag to someplace to use the bathroom. Even though I knew they had porta pots back by my area, I still had the matter of my bookbag and I was NOT about to put that on the tiny, nasty floor in there. No, I needed another option. A stranger in a orange construction type outfit informed me of a cafe nearby. But when I told him he had better be right or I’d be back to see him, he threw his hands up ushering his disclaimer about if he is wrong I wasn’t to blame him. We all got a good laugh as I threatened to swing the concrete bookpack at him and I kept moving to my destination.
The man will live another day. The place was open and after feeling bad about using their facilities and running, I ordered a caffe latte and then ran to the restroom while she made it.
Back outside, the rain began again and I trucked as fast as my feet and a heavy sack on my back would move. I unpacked and prepared mentally for the day.
I got settled and then looked around as others poured into their tables and unloaded. I soon met my neighboring table mates.
To my right was a man who I had a few things in common. But not book related. He was a very nice man and I enjoyed talking with him over the course of the day. His name is David Stinson, His novel is called “Deadball: A Metaphysical Baseball Novel.” I think David was the only author there with that type of novel and he drew a lot of interest. I suggest anyone who likes baseball should check it out. I’ve asked David if he would join me for an author interview and so look out for more to come as he will be featured on my site. Unfortunately I should have gotten a picture with him but didn’t think of it at the time.
The fair opened at ten and people began to stroll around. Also my table mate had arrived to join me and set up his side of our eight foot table. I had no idea what it would be like sharing a table with someone else. But being an extrovert I have no problem talking to anyone. And I ended up being pleasantly surprised. His name is John Debellis and he is a stand up comedian. More than that he’s a really nice guy. His book is titled “Stand Up Guys: A Generation of Laughs and its available on amazon. John knew some great comedians and has written all about it. You gotta check it out. Also know that in the near future I will also have John on here for an author interview as well. It’s sure to be entertaining.
And his promoter Jeff Penn and wife were also a lovely group of individuals. They even helped me figure out the features of the new adding machine I bought for the event. Anyway in between lovely conversation I attempted to lure people over to our table to listen to us talk about our books. It was pretty strange the tables were set up at the end of parking lots and as people walked by it seemed those white lines that normally told a person where to pull their car acted almost like a barrier keeping people at a lines length from coming closer and talking to us. Perhaps it was a safe distance for them. But I did not let that stop me from reaching out, breaking that barrier and calling them over to us. I love people, talking to people, meeting people, and even if you didn’t like the genre I was selling, it was still nice to meet you all. And between myself, John and David we all had some great laughs as we got to know each other. My mom and my aunt showed up around 1230 or so to help me out which was much appreciated. Because even though I tried to limit my water consumption and I ate nothing all morning, I it was time to visit porta pot. Yuck!
After I came back me and my mom and aunt and Jeff, John and David carried on in between me giving my pitch and possibly selling books along the way. It was a great day. Around two commotion at John’s table had us all turning our heads to see that none other than Jimmy Walker, AKA JJ from GoodTimes was standing next to us signing autographs and taking photos.
I was pretty oblivious in my own world of “Who wants a copy of my book” until my mom kept nudging me to pay attention. How cool was that.
Soon after John, Jeff, And Mr. Walker zoomed off into the tent across the way to be speakers. John asked me to hold down the fort and I willingly obliged for my new friend. I only wish I could have heard what they were talking about, but alas, I had books to sell and people to meet myself. It was kind of nice too, some of the people I met would ask me if I was the author and I loved being able to say yes and watching their faces light up in some cases.
When John and the others returned he was overloaded with people who came over to buy his book. It was awesome to see all the people lined up for autographed copies. I lived vicariously through him and was happy for his success. I helped in any way I could because it got pretty crazy there for a while.
Shortly after Mr. Walker, John and a few other people were standing around in front of our table talking and my new friend David suggested I see if I could get Mr. Walker to take a picture with my books. Ingenious! So I had an even better idea. That I would get in the photo also. It was pretty funny I got his attention and asked for a photo. He’s a really nice guy, very genuine. And I grabbed a copy of my book and shoved the other novel in his hands and said hold this.
I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Thanks Mr. Walker. And by the way. What you were talking about the groups separated after work. I totally agree with that statement. : )
At the end of the day we were all tired and cold because that wind was unforgiving to us through the day and I had not brought a jacket with me. But we all came out on top. Not only had we all sold some books, given away bookmarks and business cards, autographs, and smiles. But we had extended our families. I know this is strange to say, but spending the day at the fair with the people that surrounded me, John, David, Jeff and his wife, even Mr. Walker. I felt like we all had known each other for a long time. Not strangers that just came together for one day to sell our novels. But more than that. Impressions were made, allegiances formed, authors helped other authors and we all walk away, with smiles and feelings of accomplishment for all we have done and achieved and a sense of knowing that there are so many others out there like us, just trying to get our material read because we have a passion in our belief that those books will deliver the reader to a whole other worldly experience and change their lives forever.