Friday, 25 March 2016

Book marketing

I had a box of books in my garage. They were left over from a signing event I'd attended some time ago. A mixture of Torn and Inviolate, they had been placed on a shelf, wedged between a box of vegetable seeds and a box of Christmas decorations - forgotten.

Forgotten, that is, until we started having a clean up, because we've sold our house and we are moving, and Stuart was under instructions to get into the garage and tidy up his ... things. (Exchange the word, things, for an expletive and you'll get the picture).

The box of seeds and the Christmas decorations are mine, but other than that, the massive amount of junk in our garage constitutes Stuart's things.

So there we were, cleaning up, and we find the box of books.

What to do with it?

I happened to be speaking with the lovely Tamara Jenkins, my publicist who suggested a visit to the Fed Square Book Market. What a great idea!

So last Saturday, that's exactly what we did.

Alright, so Melbourne has been putting on some great weather lately - they've even been going so far as to call it an Indian Summer because we're well into autumn now. Of course, in typically perverse fashion, the weather gods decided that Saturday was going to be cold, windy and rainy - perfect conditions for a book market!

The Fed Square Book Market is situated at Melbourne's Federation Square. I love the place, I think it's funky and has some terrific bars and cafes, but it's mainly outdoors. The spot where the book market is held is undercover but it's a bit of a breezeway - wind-tunnel might be a better description.

There I was, wedged between a second hand book seller and a second hand record table, with my very professional banners and displays and a box of books. The weather was truly nasty and the people few and far between. So guess what happened?

My books sold!

No, I couldn't believe it either. Perhaps it was the novelty of a new book table as opposed to second hand tables? Perhaps it was the rather dubious thrill of meeting the author? Seriously, I was surprised by how many people came up to me asking, "Did you really write those?" or "Are you really an author?"

Don't worry, I sometimes ask myself those same questions.

But yes, I did write those, yes I really am a writer, but hey ... I'm just Karen from Mornington and I'm having a day out in the big smoke! Stuart and I sat side-by-side working on our respective computers. He was editing an episode from his television show A Cycling Life, while I was working on my next book.

People are funny and friendly, and even on such a horrid day, they wanted to stop and chat and even buy some books. And more than that, while cruising through Facebook in a quiet moment, I discovered that some friends we hadn't seen in years were visiting Melbourne!

A quick text message and we were reunited and swapping stories over coffee. Later, after the market had closed and the sellers had packed up their tables, we swapped even more stories over bar snacks and a few drinks.

So a great day out despite the worst weather Melbourne can produce!

My thanks to the Fed Square people who turn on a fantastic event. The Fed Square Book Market is open from 10am to 5pm every Saturday!

Until next week, try something new. You might be surprised! Oh - and Happy Easter!

Torn - the perfect read for a cold day!

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