In May, we packed up books and dogs and took our camper trailer to Ellaville, Georgia, population 1,500 (not a typo), for an Arts and Crafts event sponsored by the town’s Chamber of Commerce who named their event Luau in the ‘Ville. Kind of snappy, don’t you think?
I wore my flowered shirt, which is my version of appropriate luau attire (my grass skirt is at the dry cleaners), for the occasion, and if you carefully examine my tent, you’ll see my new “ceiling fan” is in place to keep us cool.
My new friends from the Wine Festival who told me about the Ellaville event were two booths away from me with their son who was selling his debut novel. We were too busy to chat very much, but I told them about the arts and crafts event that is close to me: Elevate Artisans; I hope to see them in October.
The most amazing sales wizard I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness was next to me in the purple tent. She sold jewelry, T-shirts, drink cups, and stickers, and she knew how to work a crowd. She maintained a constant, almost musical patter, and people were drawn to her booth.
- Mother’s Day is coming up; do you think she’d like earrings or a T-shirt?
- That’s our best-selling T-shirt, feel how soft it is. We have your size.
- What’s your mom’s favorite color?
- You need to get yourself a Mother’s Day present. You deserve it.
- You’re ears aren’t pierced? These earrings make great charms.
- You need a Georgia Bulldogs drink cup to go with that shirt.
- You’re from Alabama? We still love you. Here’s an Auburn drink cup: you won’t see another one here.
Her charming delivery made her aggressive-sounding style a magnet as she magically became everyone’s favorite friend, including me.
It was another scorcher of a day in the afternoon in Georgia. Remember my fan? It was great until it wasn’t. We forgot to pack the charger, so we weren’t able to charge it fully the night before the Luau. It fizzled out around two, and I baked in the heat until five when the party was over. I have a new addition to my packing list: the charger for the fan.
Because all of the ebooks for each one of my series are included on my online Barrett Book Shop, I was fully prepared for anyone who said they didn’t read paperbacks. I asked everyone who stopped (or kind of slowed down) by my booth, if they read paperbacks or ebooks. The readers of Ellaville and the surrounding towns surprised me when they almost 100% said, “Paperbacks.”
I was even more surprised when many of them bought one or two of my books or an entire series. While all of my First in Series books sold, the number one favorite was TAGGED BY DEATH. I sold out before the end of the day. In terms of sales, Ellaville far surpassed any other event that I’ve ever attended. You’ll find me in Ellaville next spring trying to figure out how to get next to the sales wizard’s booth.
Pro tip: Readers are Everywhere.
You keep reading; I’ll keep writing!