So here’s me at the UCF Book Festival.
What am I doing wrong?
Oh, there are some positives. The big eye-catching cover art. The price marked on the elevated book. The handsome author. But what’s wrong?
1) The stack of books for sale are too far back on the table, right back with me. Anyone who wants to flip through them (why do you flip though books? What do you hope to find?) has to reach across the table. That mistake I noticed in the first 15 minutes when I saw how neighboring mystery author Rod Sanford had his, all the way forward, teetering on the edge. Easily fixed.
2) The cover art, while both whimsical and colorful and eye-catching and striking, is (in it’s way) juvenile. People would come up to me looking for a children’s book. Others would drift by (perhaps pining for a creative science fiction book, alas). This took a little longer to noticed but I eventually did. No corrections possible during the show but in future I’ll make more flashy signs to stick to the poster, saying things like SCIENCE FICTION!, TIME TRAVEL!, INTER-TEMPORAL ROMANCE!, HORSE CHASES!, CITIES AFIRE!
3) You can’t see it but down in my cash box, down below the table, I have my brother’s apple phonetoy with a Square credit card reader hooked to it. Maybe someone liked the book but didn’t have the cash (and the balls to ask about credit cards). I should put little “Visa” and “Master Card” signs up. If anything, it makes me look more professional.
4) And speaking of which, the jury is still out on the vest. Hey, it’s Tunisian, a cool authentic Arabic vest. But it makes me look a little costumed and perhaps there is a bit of an anti-Arabic current still flowing. I don’t know. Jury is still out on that one.
Can you get the bonus question? The final fault?
5) The booth sign – simply Early ReTyrement. I’m not sure what the character count for this was but I should have used it all. This went into the programs and was hanging over my head. Sci-Fi would have pulled a few more in, as would Time Travel. Everyone had a program. Everyone probably thought I was offering estate planning. Sheesh.
Still, I’m not going to beat myself up too bad. For everything I did wrong, I did enough right. I tightened up my delivery and learned how to pitch. I was funny and witty – charisma helps. And I had pants on. So, see, it wasn’t a total disaster.
Next time will be better!