The Collingswood Book Festival on Saturday was my second street fair. The first one was the Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, PA a few years back, when I was still self-published. Someday I should write a blog post about that – we had a hurricane. Still, I learned a few things about having a booth at a street festival, which I wisely applied to this one.
This is a picture of my booth. See the rainbow streams of light coming down on it? I am pretty sure those are “spirit orbs” demonstrating their support for my efforts. (Either that or the really lame camera on my Droid phone.) I wasn’t supposed to have an empty space on either side of me – the people assigned to those spots did not show up. (Gosh, I hope the spirits didn’t hurt them.)
First of all, I used the beautiful cover posters designed by Sourcebooks to decorate my table. If you had walked around the festival and seen all the DARK book covers there, you’d know just how much this one stood out. It was startling and eye-catching!
Since there were no booths on either side of me, I hung the t-shirts my husband designed on each side of the booth. They were visible as people approached on either side, and I saw almost everybody reading them as they walked down the street. Some people laughed outright. Others came over and asked me what they were supposed to mean. Either way – it was good!
For anybody who approached the booth, I had a Ouija board hanging on one end, and a sign with historical photos of the Fox sisters and Elisha Kane at the other end. My only regret is that I didn’t make this bigger, because it wasn’t visible from a distance.
Finally, my husband set up my book trailer to play continuously on his laptop, for anybody who wanted to stop and watch it.
The combination was extremely successful. My favorite encounter was when I watched one particular man come down the street. (His name was Robb.) He read the t-shirts and laughed. He looked at the book cover posters as he came abreast of the booth. His eye went up and caught sight of the historical photos … then the Ouija board. He kept walking, but he was moving slower and slower. He glanced back twice, and then finally turned around and came back. I was waiting for him.
“Caught your eye, didn’t I?” I asked.
“Yeah, you did,” he said with a grin. I sold him a book.