Last week, I attended the International Day of the Book in Kensington Maryland. I have to admit, I had never really done a book festival--most of my professional exhibiting has been at comic shows--and I didn't know what to expect. I was particularly worried when the women at the table next to me (Andrea B. Rugh, author of Simple Gestures: A Cultural Journey into the Middle East) confessed that she had been there for three years and never sold a book.
The day started slow. I was wedged in between an anthropologist with a book about Afghanistan and a tree biologist
And yes, the is a Kubrick feeling when you try to sell you light Superhero novel between dead trees and the Middle East. I only sold 1 book in the first hour. At least it was a nice day. I put out free copies of Chapter 0 and people took those. If I sold everything for free, I would have completely sold out.
Then, I forced to squish a little closer to Andrea, to make room for another participant. The new author was Shelena Shorts (pictured left), who thankfully also write young adult books. Her new book is entitled The Pace from Lands Atlantic Publishing. It's a Twighlightish young adult romance, which involves immortals instead of vampires. I have a full synopsis below. It's not really my genre, but, I'm reading it and it's good. My wife is reading it as well--I'll let you know what she thinks of it when she is done since that is more her bailiwick.
Anyway, Lizzie had a great time coloring at the tables and playing the games at the festival and I had a great time talking with Shelena and her publisher, Lisa Paul. (I guess I can't blame my Publisher, Carly McCracken, for not coming from Missouri to join me). We talked about marketing and the roller coaster ride that is the Amazon sales rank. Something else happened, my sales picked up--a lot. Some people read that free Chapter zero and then came back to buy the book, others were impressed by the fact that the book featured a strong female role model and no sex. Some, liked superheroes. All in all, It ended up being a very good day. As a plus, I also saw my best friend friend from high school, who I hadn't seen in 20 years.
I will definitely be at the festival next year. Oh, and that woman who hadn't a book in three years. She almost sold them all this year. I picked up a copy for a friend who is going over to Afghanistan for work. It's a pretty fascinating read. I have an amazon link to it below.
And here is Shelena's book. It is called The Pace. There is a sequel due to be released in August. Here is the synopisis:
Weston Wilson is not immortal and he is of this world. But, aging is not part of his existence, and eighteen-year-old Sophie Slone is determined to find out why. In doing so, she could also uncover something about her own life expectancy that she may not want to know. Suddenly, immortality will mean everything and nothing all at the same time. Intensely fascinating and rich with determination, The Pace brings together romance, mystery, and suspense in a compelling bond that is sure to have readers asking for more.