Last weekend I returned to one of my favorite places on earth - Amelia Island, Florida.
The annual Amelia Island Book Festival, located just north of Jacksonville, Florida, happened last Saturday, 18 February. It had been been six years since I last attended. This is one of my favorite book festivals, and one of my favorite places. The Atlantic coastline from Savannah, Georgia to St. Augustine, Florida is a playground of great beaches, state parks, and places to see. I met a lot of great people, including authors and readers. I'd also like to shout out to the Amelia Indie Authors for inviting me to join their group.
The next day my sister and I hiked the seashore in several state parks located south of Amelia Island. The South Georgia/North Florida Atlantic shoreline is amazing, and I love capturing it with my camera. I would attend the Amelia Island Book Festival even if I didn't sell one book. I enjoy going there that much.
Here are a few images from my adventure.
I am sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've got four extensive blog posts in draft and I'm trying to finish them up. FYI, my next book signing is tentatively 25 March back in my hometown of Enterprise at the Spring Festival at the Monument. Hopefully, I'll see you there.
If you enjoyed this blog, please like the post and leave a comment or if you're feeling brave, share it on social media. This platform is my entire advertising budget and is how I share the word on my books. Also visit my Facebook, my author page and check out my photography book from America Through Time, "Abandoned Wiregrass: The Deepest South's Lost and Forgotten Places."
I'm back from Amelia Island a few books lighter and with several lessons under my belt. This was my first book signing event, and it went pretty smooth. I met a lot of fantastic authors and readers, and would definitely go again. However, there were a few bumps and are the lesson's learned in no particular order (some offered to me by fellow authors at the festival - thanks K'Anne!):
1. Tape. You'll need both scotch and duct tape. For what? Everything.
2. My banner worked great. I found mounting clips at Office Depot that worked good, but would have worked better with tape. I would have added a banner behind and above me, too. Those call more attention to your booth.
3. Change. I was scrambling the night before to get lots of ones. I think the lady at Publix thought I was getting ready to go to a strip bar.
4. Fish bowl or cookie jar for business cards and giveaway. I used an unsightly piece of disposable Tupperware.
5. NEVER WALK OUT OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT MY COFFEE MUG.
6. Attractive book ends and book display holders. (Duh! Its a book fest.) I even saw one author with a collapsable wire book rack.
7. Ask ahead of time about wi-fi.
8. If you are going to use your phone to take credit cards, have a portable phone charger.
9. Bring. Your. Own. Chair. It was at a middle school, and they must have given me the Timeout Chair.
10. Bring candy to hand out.
11. Bring small cooler with my own lunch, water and snacks.
12. Get one of those beach wagons to haul everything in and out.
14. See-through plastic bags to put your book in.
15. Have your sales pitch ready to go in your mind and keep it simple. After a few deliveries I had mine down OK, but looking back I should have had it tighter. I got asked two basic questions: 1) What is the genre and 2) What is it about? I tried to keep each to one sentence.
Well, that's about it. I'm going to try to make a few more book signings this year. I'll keep you posted here.
Oh, yeah, weirdest question I got asked. "Do you know martial arts?"