Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers

MY BLOG POSTS COMMENT ON SOME ASPECT OF WRITING & READING.

The Ripening
The Ripening:
A Canadian Girl Grows Up

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self. Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare! "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Curva Peligrosa
Curva Peligrosa

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Image is not available
FLING!
Fling!

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

"Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read."

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Freefall
Freefall :
A Divine Comedy

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
All This
All This

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
No More Kings
No More Kings

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Each finely crafted poem in this powerful collection comes alive on the page while she traces the days’ journeys with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, and the deft pen of a poet.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
previous arrow
next arrow

Dear Fellow Writers and Book Marketers,

This past weekend, I signed up to share a booth with another writer, a woman I didn’t know, at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, a relatively new venue. Its first session was in 2015, and it claimed to be an international event that draws people from all over the world: “More than 50,000 diverse people of all ages, from urban to suburban Bay Area communities and beyond.”

We were supposed to “man” our booths from 10 AM to 6 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. The stalls were 10’ by 20’ x 8’. The organizers told us we each would have an 8’ bare table with two folding chairs. These accouterments were placed on concrete that sloped from the center of the street towards the curb where a stream of water gushed past. We tried to arrange our tables in a “v” as directed, but it was impossible to do in such a small space. Since the street was slope towards the sidewalk, our books toppled over. So the second table ended up at the back of the booth and was useless. The two of us ended up sharing the one 8’ slab.books copy

But I tried to stay positive, assuming that those attending the festival would be literary and might even be interested in buying books. So I thought my $175 fee would be well spent. I didn’t expect to make all of the money back through book sales, but I felt the exposure might be worthwhile.

It wasn’t. It also didn’t help that the organizers were giving away hundreds of free books nearby!

The booth I shared was on Addison Street’s “Literary Lane.” I discovered that Addison was a thoroughfare for those who were attending the Farmer’s Market. Consequently, many that passed by actually weren’t interested in books, unless something unusual caught their eye. And even those who were readers seemed reluctant to stop and peruse, afraid, it appeared, of being roped into making unwanted purchases. So my stack of postcards that give my novel’s synopsis, my business cards, and my pen giveaways were largely ignored. Occasionally, I enticed someone to our table by offering a free pen, but the person quickly fled with his/her gift.

I should have learned my lesson after attending a conference this summer in Calgary during my book launch. At least I wasn’t outside and dealing with wind and fog. But my books did share tables with hundreds of others, mainly genre fiction. It was a complete bust, and I should have realized that the Berkeley event would not be any better.

The problem with festivals/conferences/whatever is that each wrbooks copyiter’s work is in competition with hundreds of others. When I took a walk down Literary Lane, I found that the booths blurred together, and I had no desire to stop at any of them. Oddly, the only person who attracted sales was my booth mate. She was selling tee shirts with catchy slogans across the chest, her poems printed on the backs.

I didn’t stay until 6 PM. I left at 4:30. Nor did I return on the Sunday. It was pointless, a complete waste of my time and money.

Unless you are a major literary figure or have a particular shtick, you will not do well at these events. However, if you can find your way onto a panel or do a presentation, then you might have a better chance of being recognized and make some sales. But don’t count on it.

 

Previous

Rain Forest Heaven: Olympic National Park

Next

Removing Roadblocks

2 Comments

  1. Bummer, sorry things did not go well for you.

Comments make my day. Please leave one!

%d bloggers like this: