The crowds were huge, especially on Saturday, and people were buying.
I always advertise in the program that they hand out and fortunately, this year, my ad landed at the front and on the right hand side. Some people came to my booth, paper in hand, looking for me. Of course there were others who merely stopped because they were curious.
The only way to sell books at these affairs is to smile and speak to everyone who passes. Those who read will stop and take a look. At that point I begin telling them about each book. I have a one sentence blurb or "elevator pitch" for each one.
I brought 20 of my own titles with me and also a friend's book. You never know what might interest someone. Some covers attract people--but not the same covers. I had only two copies left of one book and only one of another. I put them on the table with a sign saying these were the last. They were snapped up immediately.
I did very well both days though the majority of the sales came in the morning and early afternoon. Later people were tired and hot and seemed to just be plodding along.
About ten people signed up for my monthly online newsletter--many others took cards.
Doing these events is exhausting, but well worth it.
Unfortunately I can't attend next year because Bouchercon is the same weekend. I skipped this big mystery event this year for a couple of reasons--but mainly because it landed the same time as the Apple Festival. In 2010 it will be in San Francisco--just too convenient for me to miss again. No, I won't sell a bunch of books, too many big name mystery authors attend, however, I may meet some readers who will become fans. And I have lots of friends in this community I'd like to see again.
However, I've been promised my spot back for the following year. God willing, I'll be at the Apple Festival in 2011.