Showing posts with label Festival on the Square. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Festival on the Square. Show all posts

Thursday, July 20, 2017

FESTIVAL ON THE SQUARE - MARKETING - AND WAYS TO GET THE WORD OUT

A couple of weeks ago the Clay County Arts andHistorical Council held the annual Festival on the Square. In the center of our little town is a large beautiful brick courthouse built over 100 years ago.

On the grounds of the court house which is no longer used as a courthouse, vendors set up every year, on the weekend following July 4th, and thousands of people pour into town and onto the grounds. Fine crafts and handmade art of all kinds are sold in the small tents on the 10 x 10 spaces allowed. For many years there were no literary arts booths, but a few years ago the NC Writers’ Network West, our mountain program for writers, was allowed to be the only book sellers on the square for the festival.

This year Deanna Klingel, author from Sapphire NC, took the responsibility of putting up the canopy with forty pound weights on each pole so it would not blow away if we had a wind storm. Deanna is a writer of children’s books and she makes many kids happy when she calls them over to look at the books on the table in front of her. I think there is a bit of jealousy from other writers who don’t have her knack for selling books, but I admire a good marketer. After all, if you can’t sell your books in today’s market, you might not be in the writing business. 


Carolyn Frazier and Bob Grove in front with Deanna in pink strip and me with blue around my neck.
Deanna made table covers with skirts that looked professional and gave our booth some extra pizzazz that brought in passersby. She and her husband, Dave, brought tables and chairs for the booth and she brought copies of all her books. 

I sat in the booth to give out info on NCWN West and Writers Circle on Sunday afternoon. It was hotter than I can remember and I have to accept that I can’t do that anymore. I was no help in taking down the booth because simply taking my own things and my chair back to my car did me in. I was in terrible pain by the time I arrived home, and I suffered for three days afterward with my back.

This might have been our last booth at the festival on the square. We don’t have enough interest from members to make it worth the labor involved. None of us are young and energetic and the heat saps our energy. This would be a great experience for younger people, maybe a few men who don’t mind setting up and taking down the tent and loading everything in the cars. Outgoing writers who engage with the public could sell books and find new readers, but shy or introverted writers find this experience unpleasant.

My purpose for the booth at the festival is to make the public aware of our writing community in this region. We always find interested people who give us their contact information so I can put them on our email list. We send out newsletters and event announcements and those on the email list receive them. In time, many of them join us.

Perhaps because I lived with a salesman for 45 years and had a brother who was the best salesman ever, I have a good understanding of marketing. I understand that no one just comes to your door and asks for your books. If the public doesn’t know what you have that they want, how can they order your book online? Your family and friends will probably buy your book, but then the sales stop.

One of the authors in the booth was Bob Brooks fromBrevard. He said that any chance to connect with the public, even if a book is not sold at the time, helps the author down the road. Sometimes the success of marketing is not seen at the time, but comes later when a reader who has taken your card at the festival orders your book online.

Deanna says she always sees a rise in online sales a few days after her appearance at a public event.  Too bad most writers close their eyes to the need for successful marketing.

Some writers don’t want to market their books and don’t care if they sell a single copy. That is fine. But their publishers usually want them to sell books. After all, the publisher needs to make money in order to stay in business.
Marketing is the part of the writing business that most authors dislike, but if they plan to stay in the writing business, they should learn how to market their work.

Tara Lynne Groth will teach a class at Writers Circle on August 5, 1 - 4 p.m. on using a newsletter to reach your readers, your audience. This way writers can sit at home and promote their books. Readers don't buy books because they want to do something nice for an author they don't know. They buy books because the author has something to offer them. They buy books because they see the book or the author or hear from the author who wants to share something with them -- her book. 



Friday, July 12, 2013

Visit us at Festival on the Square July 13 - 14

This afternoon we loaded up my car with a canopy, tables and chairs from my studio and other things to take to the Festival on the Square in Hayesville, NC, a lovely little town in the mountains of western NC. This event is held each year by the Clay County Historical and Arts Council. 

Saturday is the opening day and we will man our booth from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. We are sponsored by NCWN West. We will once again have our beautiful anthology, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, for sale, discounted, along with books by Bob Grove, Maren Mitchell, Paul Schofield, Janice Moore, Wayne Newton, and others. 

Anthologies are popular because they include short stories, poetry and short non-fiction that makes it easy to pick up and read without getting bogged down in a full size novel.

Women's Places - Women's Spaces edited by Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham will be on the table as well as a highly popular book, On Our Own, Widowhood for Smarties, Silver Boomer books. 

We will give away a free book each day, so we hope folks will come by and sign up for the drawing. 

Look for us right next door to the historic courthouse as you stroll through the shade and check out the 50 arts and crafts booths. We will be there all through the weekend until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

If you are a writer or want to be a writer, pick up a brochure at our table. See how you can become a part of a large and growing literary community. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Poets and Writers and Poets



This post was written after the weekend at Festival on the Square.

After a weekend of promoting Writers Circle, NCWN West and Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, I dragged myself home, took a shower and a nap. Hot weather saps my energy and yesterday was hot and humid, but we had a successful event.

In one of the anthologies on our table was my story, An Angel Named Amos. The theme is horses. That book was popular. So was the anthology, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge
Poetry was not popular with people at this festival. Does that mean that we didn't have a literary crowd? Or is it true that only poets buy poetry books? I did not buy one of Robert S. King's poetry books. I already have The Gravedigger's Roots and The Haunted River, both excellent collections.

Clarence Newton, poet and writer
I bought a book by my good friend, Clarence Newton. For years I have begged him to put together a book of his poems because I wanted to have them available to read often.
Like many who have lived a long life, this astute gentleman's words of wisdom in verse and his clever, tongue in cheek poems that make me laugh out loud will be cherished and kept on my book shelf.
He gave me permission to publish some poems from his book, Short Glances Forward and A Long Look Back.

Cycling

Nobody dies anymore.
Some pass on, others pass away.
Some go to heaven, others reincarnate.
Some go to hell.
A few spirits hang around as ghosts.

Some are convinced that this
matter of which we are made
is in a constant mode
of earth attachment and recycling.

Born of the cosmos, matter spun and whirled,
made to reason, wonder, laugh and cry,
guided by circumstances, seeds sown to wind,

we dance upon the crest of life's bell curve,
embrace hope, faith and serenity,
relishing fleeting moments of lust and love
thinking only of the present;

finally to metamorphose into particles of dust
and subatomic energy where goes body and soul
carried by whirlwinds of the ethereal universe,
from whence we came and so shall return.

A merry-go-round, this mysterious life
of consciousness, matter and will
where passions flare and time flies.

Clarence then writes this one:

Froggy

Three hopping friends
sat upon two logs
searching with buggy eyes
for a breakfast of flies

One had two and two had three.
then saluted with high fives
saying ain't life fun
when we're having flies? 



Saturday, July 21, 2012

WE HAD FUN AT FESTIVAL ON THE SQUARE

Last weekend some of us, members of NCWN West, set up a booth at the Festival on the Square in Hayesville, NC. Saturday was busy but hot. This festival is sponsored each year by the Clay County Historical and Arts Council. Janice Padgett, president of the Council and Reba Beck, co-chairman of the festival committee,  were especially supportive of our being there.
Members of CCHAC at their booth in front of the historic courthouse
Besides Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, the anthology created by Netwest and edited by Nancy Simpson, we had poetry books by Nancy and Robert King. Clarence Newton brought his brand new poetry book, Short Glances Forward and A Long Look Back, and I finally got my hands on it. 

Deanna Klingle and Robert S. King at the NCWN West booth


Anthologies, such as my Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers, sold better than poetry, so next year, I hope members who have had their work in anthologies will bring copies to sign.


Clarence Newton author of Short Glances Forward and A Long Look Back


Deanna Klingel drove down from Brevard to sign her books. She writes for young people and had a very successful day introducing her characters to the children in Clay County.


Many thanks to Joan Howard, Janice Moore, Linda Smith and Beth and especially Robert King who was there all day both days. I was happy to introduce quite a few people to Netwest and to Writers Circle. 
We almost made it through the festival without rain, but about 20 minutes before closing, the downpour started and we all came home in wet clothes. It was fun and I hope next year we will have more members participate.

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