The Southern Writers Expo was held at the Downtown Branch of the Huntsville / Madison County Public Library today. I was under the impression that we had a meeting of the Downtown Writers Group today as well. That turned out to be no problem though. The Expo was well worth my time.
I didn’t attend any of the presentations. I did go around the expo and talk to almost all of the writers about their books and themselves. It was amazingly encouraging to find that they were all only a little further than me in their careers.
I learned something about participating in a show like this. It goes without saying that you need a copy of your book on display. You need a bookmark or something else with the cover of your book and your contact information. You need a web site. And you need something else. You need an excerpt, maybe the first chapter of your novel, to entice the potential reader to buy your novel.
I learned something about the economics of book sales at the same time. A book is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. It doesn’t matter how nice a product you are selling, if it costs more than the reader wants to pay for it, it isn’t going to sell. That is motivation to write the best book you possibly can and present it in the most attention grabbing way possible.
There is much to learn about writing books for sale. The activity is at once ancient and modern. Modern writers have many challenges facing them dealing with digital publication, promotion via social media, and having to produce their work in multiple formats and media. I feel like I have a little bit of a jump on most authors having been in the computer business while all of these technological developments unfolded. It doesn’t make it any less work to package your product though.
I would suggest that they expand the Expo next year and see if they could interest some local publishers to participate. They might find writers to add to their catalog in addition to selling some books from it.
I enjoyed attending the Expo. I am actually writing this blog post from a quite place in the library. It seems an appropriate way to finish up a day spent meeting writers, talking about books, and basking in a warm community of local southern writers.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.