A family emergency has made life a bit hectic as of late. Fellow PFW author and good friend E.B. Dawson has agreed to help fill in. Recently E.B. Dawson attended her first live author even, selling her gorgeous books at a local arts and crafts fair. She’s written a post introducing us to some of the colorful characters she met.
I recently participated in my first live author event and met SO many cool people! Interacting with humans face to face is vastly different from interacting with humans online. I honestly enjoyed it so much and this post is a celebration of how vastly different and complex human beings can be.
The Undercover Reader-
These are the people who love reading, but get teased about it (the world is a cruel, cruel place). Maybe their family is unsupportive or doesn’t understand their PASSION for the written word. They will either
a). Sneak away from loved ones to check out your books, or
b). Drag their grumpy loved ones with them to check out your books
These poor, unsupported humans need your love and understanding. People are probably feeding them all sorts of lies like “there are better ways to spend your time” and “you shouldn’t spend so much money on books.” When I encouraged one girl that reading is a great hobby she responded, “I know, right? I could be doing something much worse, like drugs.”
I know not everyone is a fan of reading...but I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone be so dramatic about it! Lol
The Shameless Book Lover-
These are the people who see books and make a beeline for you with glowing eyes. They pick up your books and read the back. They ask you to help them pick which book to buy. They start raving about their favorite authors. They sign up for your newsletter. Sometimes they get so excited about the blurb for your book that they practically throw money at you.
Shameless Book Lovers are just the BEST! They remind you why you started writing in the first place and they fill your heart with joy. Maybe they aren’t quite as common as we’d like, but they exist and if you are displaying books in a public place, they will find you!
The Fellow Writer-
Fellow Writers sometimes drop by to say hi. It can be fun to exchange information and tips. I have an AMAZING author community, but not everybody is so lucky. I had a number of aspiring authors come to talk to me about my publishing process. It feels good to encourage each other. The author business can be pretty lonely.
Sometimes they will buy a book just to support you, or recommend local author groups and resources!
The Gift Giver-
These wonderful, angelic human beings are friends and family members of book lovers. They see books and they think, “I know someone who would LOVE this.” (Bless them!) Honestly, these were my favorite customers. Several of them were grandmothers and they were the sweetest ladies. They knew nothing about science fiction or fantasy, but just wanted to bring joy to the people they loved. It was unexpectedly fun to try and pick out the best book-presents for these people! And it restored my faith in humanity that people are out there buying books as presents.
The Open-Minded Enthusiast
These are fascinating folks. They’ve got some extra spending money and are known to read books now and then. They come to you looking for a pitch, wanting to be persuaded and won over. These people often support small businesses, or maybe even know another author themselves. Your best way to win these folks over is to be professional and show them the full range of your work. They are attracted to confidence and the more variety of content you have, the more likely they will be to find something to their taste and pick it up.
These people are crucial for small businesses and artists in particular. If you are one of these people, then THANK YOU.
People can be intimidating, but underneath we have a lot in common. One of the biggest things I learned is that I don’t have to drag people over to my booth and try to arm wrestle them into buying my books. Nobody likes that anyway. As disappointing as it can be to have browsers come and go without buying anything, the five types of people mentioned above will be sure to lift your spirits. You’ve worked so hard on your books. Learn how to pitch them, and then let your work speak for itself and just enjoy interacting with people.