Did you know local authors can join in at the farmer’s market? I didn’t, not until a friend who rented a space for the season offered me the opportunity to take her place while she was out of town. But it makes sense now. I’ve toiled over my books, crafting them into creative items other people would enjoy. It matches the other non-food vendors.
Last Saturday was a gorgeous day. There I was with a table of books and an umbrella twisty-tied to my chair. I tried to set up one of those camping gazebos, really I did. Let’s just say it’s been almost two years since I last went camping, and that was the time my mom broke her knee. After trying to fit pole labeled “2” into one labeled “3” and failing, I tossed them back into their box and opted for a simpler solution.
I am a simple squirrel, after all.
Despite my tendencies to fluster easily and scamper away to the closest tree, I actually do like people. They are interesting to watch, fun to talk to, and have the innate reaction to engage when you make eye-contact.
Do you know how devious I felt? All it took was a smile and question: “Do you read fantasy?” Regardless of answer, I saw it—that glimmer of interest, a curiosity. Who is this odd person with books on her table, offering me a free pen? I got a few chuckles with the pen offers. Surprisingly, a lot of people said they had plenty of pens. Go figure.
I sold 11 books on Saturday. I also faced a couple of uncomfortable questions, such as, “Do you sell a lot of books?” Me: *nervous chuckle* You kind of have to promote your work to sell it…
I met dozens of interesting people though—a boy who writes fantasy, a girl who writes about animals, a man who wants to support his son’s novel, a friend of a fantasy author, and a friend of a local publisher. That last one left me in a bit of pain, as she’s one who asked the question mentioned above and promptly followed up with, “Well, then maybe you should get a publisher. My friend self-published and she learned how bad of an idea that was.” At least she was very kind to offer the name of the local publisher that her other friend runs, Aloha Publishing. Alas, they specialize in non-fiction.
I got pretty good at my pitch throughout the day. Though I ended up stumbling at one point when a mother and her daughters asked if there was any descriptive sex scenes, or describing people’s naked bodies. I have naked people (full-blood elementals don’t wear clothes) but do I describe it sexually? I wracked my brain. I remembered a comment from a beta about This World Bites and ended up closing the door on that one. What about Thanmir War? I was fairly certain there wasn’t anything explicit. I don’t write erotica. So, I said no. But I published Thanmir War in 2013, and my memory can be a bit faulty. Regrettably, there is a love scene between a married couple where a paragraph has some descriptive language.
Lady, if you are out there and happen to read this, I apologize and will refund your money if you find it offensive. It was never my intention to mislead you for the sake of a sale.
All in all, I had a lot of fun at the market. I was between a Henna artist and a woman who made delightful blankets and hats for kids. I met photographers and carvers and woodworkers. If you get the opportunity to join, I’d say give it a try!
Do you have a local farmer’s market? How do you respond to uncomfortable questions? Do you like to watch people?