Once again, I exhibited at the Collingswood Book Festival this weekend. It was my third year doing this and I had a lot of fun. I met nice readers and writers, and even sold some books.
But by far, the most interesting part of the day was watching people’s reactions to my tent display, which I upgraded from last year. This year, I reproduced the banner on my website (http://www.jenniferwilck.com) as an actual banner that I displayed hanging in front of my table. I made my book covers into large border prints that I displayed so that anyone walking by, from any direction, could see them.
As I sat at my table, I watched the people pass and look at my displays. Some of them sneered, as they could obviously tell I wrote romance and quite clearly, it wasn’t for them. Usually, the ones who sneered were women walking alone. Women with children seemed to sneak a peek and continue walking, as if they were afraid to expose their children to my books. Or maybe they didn’t want their guilty pleasure discovered. Women and men, well, they were interesting. The women often took a cursory glance and continued their conversations. The men, however, looked a lot harder and longer at my displays, turning their heads to see all the differently angled displays. It was as if they were getting a peek into a hidden world.
Don’t get me wrong. There were plenty of friendly people who said hello as they meandered by and plenty more who stopped to look and to chat (also a couple of weird ones, including one man who wanted to know what typeface my book was printed in, and then tried to argue about the race of one of my cover models). We had some great conversations and I really enjoyed getting to meet them.
There was even one woman who came to my table this year and told me she’d read my first book and wanted to read more. She even described the book she’d read with enough detail that I knew she had actually read it. My husband likes coming with me to the book festival because there are a few authors he likes to repeatedly visit, and it was really cool to be “that author” for someone else.
Once again, it was a terrific experience and I’m looking forward to next year. And hey, at least I know my signs made an impact! J