A Live Report from the Book Em Book Festival

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Ok, so this event happened yesterday and, to be honest, there was nothing live about it. This used to be the premier event in NC for books (so I was told) with foot traffic between 2 and 5000. Not bad right? I wasn’t in a position to go to this before and this is what I got for waiting:

NOT ONE DAMN SALE.

Never in my 8 years of doing events have I walked away like that. A beaten dog. They put us in a hallway (there’s a first for me) where I couldn’t even sit behind my table. I only saw maybe about 100 people come walking through- from 9:30- 4. The first ones started an hour and a half AFTER the doors opened. That told me everything I needed to know. For the first time ever I didn’t bother pitching to anyone. Didn’t try to make a sale. I know when people skim through who is interested, who is likely, and who is wasting our time. I only had a few real conversations with about 5 people.

Then I discover there was no marketing, no advertising, no hype build up leading up to the event. The main person running the show just up and quit back in Feb without telling anyone, leaving a huge void. The new lady in charge actually told the guy next to me that she ‘wasn’t with it at all today’. That’s leadership in action.

Now I know what some of you are thinking, he’s just bitter because it was a bad day or he didn’t do what he was supposed. Wrong. I smiled like a boss. Was ready to wheel and deal with the flirty charm I bring to all events. Problem was there wasn’t anybody to tackle like that. A bunch of little-little kids, uninterested parents, and friends of the others around me. Oh by the way, not a single one of them sold anything either.

Hands down Book Em was the biggest waste of time I have participated in. Hell, I make over 100$ a month just doing the local farmer’s market once a month. Thankfully I only had to drive 100 miles to get down to Book Em yesterday. For any authors thinking of doing this one- don’t waste your time.

Ah well, lesson learned.

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