I had such a nice time at the Brooklyn Book Festival yesterday, despite the rain. I’ve gone to this festival for the past several years; they have readings, panel discussions, and other various quirky little things throughout the day. This year I was planning on listening to a crime fiction panel moderated by Michael Connelly, a set of debut author readings that included Sean Ferrell and Tanya Wright, another set of readings that included Elizabeth Streb – who is an innovative choreographer and now an author too, and a panel discussion about the economic crisis and what to do about it, amongst other things.
But I ended up doing none of that because my friend, Goodloe Byron, and I ended up getting a last-minute table he’d requested earlier from the organizers. So, I sat outside all day with my books, meeting book lovers, chatting with them about my novel, and personalizing their books. It was my first time ever doing this and I had no idea what to expect, but people were so amazingly cool! People were congratulating me for publishing my debut novel, remarking on the cover, asking me about the novel’s plot, about the publication process. After a couple hours, I ran out of books and my friend, Nicole, graciously watched my half of the table while I ran home to get more. When I returned she told me she’d sold my last copy by telling people who’d approached the table about my awards and reviews, and kind of sweetly reprimanded me for not having that info on a sheet at the table. Methinks sometimes your friends are better sales-people for your books than you, the writer, are
Anyway, unfortunately at that point it began pouring, and I didn’t even want to take the additional books out of my bag so as not to ruin them (we didn’t have a table with a tent). And it ended up raining the rest of the day, pretty hard. So I left early. Still, I had one of the happiest publishing days of my life. I haven’t sold many print books – the vast majority of my sales have been on Kindle – and there’s something so incredibly cool about selling an actual, physical book — watching people regard the cover curiously, peruse the back, flip through it, and then being able to sign it for them, watching them walk away with it in their hands.
And just meeting people! I really had a blast. I want another festival. Soon.
Anyway, literary blogger Edward Champion has some interviews of BBF participants posted at his blog. The third one happens to be of my friend, Michael Northrop, talking not about his own novels but about his participation in a One Story magazine promotion at the festival. Fun!
Oh and photo above, by me, is of a non-festival-related protest against police brutality that happened to take place on the courthouse plaza, where we were.