RAM Local Author Expo Review

Book Marketing Info NE Florida Books NE Florida Writers

The Riverside Arts Market’s Local Author Expo is now complete and here are some of the results. We arrived by 8:00 for the set-up like we planned after spending the night with a friend who also agreed to help us get set up in the morning because my oldest daughter injured her foot at work and was unable to do much setting up this time around. She was able to come sit with us during the event which is always nice. I suppose since we were newcomers to this event we were placed on the back row right next to Riverside Avenue which was pretty noisy with all the traffic behind us and rolling along above us “under the bridge”. It was mostly cloudy all day with a few breezes and stray sunshine every now and then. In the morning the sun was in your eyes when it was out but towards noon it was a lot better. The rain even held out until after the event was over and we had packed up to leave.

I didn’t know at the time but our event was competing with the “Springing the Blues” Festival this weekend at Jacksonville Beach. So, there were not as many food vendors or even craft vendors that normally would be there and some of the authors that thought they might come didn’t show up either. So, we ended up having about 24 local authors, including me, three Sci-fi/Fantasy writers, three or four children’s authors, a couple of inspirational/motivational writers, two historical authors, a few fiction writers and a mystery author. Of course, with the Blues Festival going on, a Regional Pet Adoption Event at the fairgrounds and some kind of sporting event happening on Saturday the competition was fierce for people’s attention.

We were told to think of this as a marketing event only. Any sales of our books would be considered gravy. The coordinators were extremely nice to work with and kept everything moving quite efficiently. We enjoyed some of the local food, browsed through some of the other vendor’s booth and enjoyed the music and dancing events going on in the main stage area. Where we were positioned we got to hear all of the authors do their 10-minute readings all throughout the day. That was really nice. Our next door neighbor stated she was hoping that I would go up there and read some from my book but I didn’t really get the email about participating in a reading until it was too late. Besides I am not prepared to do something like that quite yet. But I suppose I will have to come up with something very soon. It seems that is also part of marketing your own books.

Apparently, this is a dog-friendly venue. We watched all kinds of dogs prance by with the owners all day long. My youngest son even showed up for a brief visit with his dog. My oldest daughter wanted to bring her dog but with her leg in a splint, she wouldn’t be able to control him very well. Besides which her husband dropped her off on the way to work so she wouldn’t have been able to leave if Rex got too rowdy. My friend who helped us get set up had to leave early though when her daughter and her family showed up to say, Hi! We did have a nice visit and I really appreciated her help.

When you attend these types of events you just never know who you are going to meet. It seems that someone I used to work with at one of Jacksonville’s local hospitals has a wife who is a children’s writer. Jill Grens who wrote and published , ZIPPY THE CATERPILLAR AND THE BIG RACE
which she read during her 10 minutes on stage. It was quite funny and I am sure there will be lots of kids out there who would love to read it. We wish her luck and hope she sells lots of books. You should check out her Author page on Amazon when you get a few minutes or read over her website: http://www.jillgrens-bigbangbooks.com/about-the-author.html

Below is a listing of the participating authors and links to their webpage and/or their book pages on Amazon (Always help promote your fellow writers):

Mary Atwood Historic Homes of Florida’s First Coast (Landmarks) and her website: http://maryatwoodphotoart.com/written-work/

Martin ChapmanRed Halos (Volume 1) and his website: http://martinchapman.net/

Connie DaviesOkay K. O. and her website: http://www.conniedavies.com/Books.htm

Monica Paul DePaulBlood on Fire (Blood Arcana Book 1) and her website: http://mpdepaul.com/author/

Mary Durham AndersonGenerational Curse

Eileen EriksonUp in Nathanael’s Room plus a couple more on Amazon, and her author profile on Online Binding: http://onlinebinding.com/eileen_erikson.html

Judith IrwinShadow of Silence and visit her website at: http://www.juditherwinofficialwebsite.com/

Walter FitzwaterCuba, the Island I Treasure and his website: http://www.walterfitzwater.com/

Tiffany FloydBeyond the Brink

Richard Graf Trommler Bitterfeld

Forrest GuthrieSpecial Agent In Charge

Heather HamelWithin Emerald Forests: Book 1 of the Cryptozoology Series (Volume 1) and visit her website: https://heatherhamel.wordpress.com/

Laura MathewsonBOTTOM LINE: MANNERS MATTER and her website: http://www.bottomlinemannersmatter.com/

Mary Ellen PanaccionePicked-On Poindexter and her website: http://www.huggablemelodies.com/

Page Pitts TacchiTHE ADVENTURES OF JAMES AND MAISY, A Story of Adoption and her website: http://www.theadventuresofjamesandmaisy.com/

Debbie Millbern PowersMeeting Her Match: The Story of a Female Athlete-Coach, Before and After Title IX and her website: http://www.debbiepowersauthor.com/

David “Roman” ShakhramanovEternal Horizon: The Hunt for Saturn (Eternal Horizon: A Star Saga Book 2) and the series/author website: http://eternalhorizon.net/index.html

John David TinneyFrom the Inside Out

Patricia Vail – her information on Online Binding website: http://onlinebinding.com/pat_vail.html and to order a copy of her book.

Nancy WhiteJacksonville Food Trucks: (American Palate) and her blog website that she writes articles for on a regular basis: http://www.nourishthebeast.com/

Gary “Skip” WilliamsThree Keys to Murder the author’s website: http://www.williamsknerly.com/Default.aspx

Dianne WoodsPinPointing Your Potential Passion and Purpose From Paper to Productivity and her website: https://dwoodsblog.wordpress.com/

Below is a summary of what we spent in order to participate in this event:

To sum it all up with materials and actual costs:

$15 for 500 Business Cards with my name and links to my books online
$150 for about 30 copies of my book from CreateSpace
$25 Application Fee
$30 for two small posters and informational postcards from Vistaprint
$0 for tent, tables, tablecloths, and chairs – also a credit card device for my iPhone to process transaction through my SquareUp account (Already own them for our crafts business)
$0 for Promotional Items – I made up come Bottlecap and Bead Earrings and Keychain Charms
$1 for a book stand that I found at the Dollar Store
$6 for 2 Easels from Hobby Lobby
$100 in gas to get to the event and back home again, snacks, two meals, and drinks

Since we only sold one book, handed out 7 of the book business cards and gave away approximately 14 promotional items we will probably say that this event has put us in the red. Should our book business cards yield any future eBook sales that figure may go a little bit towards even? You really won’t know until about 30 days later. It was a nice day, good experience and hopefully will give us some ideas how to improve our performance in the future.