Wined and Dined
Saturday and Sunday past I spent four hours each day manning a mostly-invisible table that did not provide food or drink for a population of folk who surged into the winery reception room when the doors officially opened at noon armed for both and nothing else. Armed: verb intended–they didn’t have a free hand to carry a book if they’d wanted to. Even so, some books sold, several good contacts made who invited me to speak to their women’s/rotary/book club in Stuart/Danville/Raleigh et cetera. And I learned a thing or two between day one and day two about the dynamics of working with this particular setting and crowd; each of these various events I’ve been involved with since the book came along are classrooms, and I pick up pointers that I hope make me more effective in getting the word across effectively.
Saturday mistakes: no name tag. Table information too detailed and busy. Table display did not immediately link me to Floyd County. Vendor sat or stood directly behind table, intimidating some would-be customers. Nothing offered to draw people to the table, even though hundreds streamed past in line for the white wine table.
Sunday corrections: Name tag. Oh, you’re Fred First! Simplified table display, simply the poster with book title, County of origin and “memoir of place” with my picture and name. I stood back-left of the table or fully away from it, and only approached if someone picked up the book, a sample note card or a bookmark. “So are you a reader? or “Did you find one you like?” if they picked up a card. AND, due to a little problem with the packaging of the first set of 150 packs of note cards, I ended up with some free copies, so (aha moment!) I offered a free sample with envelope–a winning idea! Four times more people stopped than Saturday, and I was engaged in conversation for most of the four hours.
The cards were appreciated. Several folks asked if they were paintings or photos (which I took as a compliment.) Others asked if there were any snow pictures; or dogs; or nature close-ups. So of course, that makes me think of future projects. A couple of realtors and also some B&B folks were interested in bulk orders to use in correspondence with clients to the area. Great idea, I thought!
I go back again this coming weekend, and the old dog has learned a few tricks.
The note cards, by the way, are nicely repacked and ready for shipping. See sidebar info. Order today!