May 22, 2011

Hand Gestures Don't Sell Books like a Voice Does

Mom and I both attended our first book festivals yesterday in NC and MD respectively. Mom had a table set up in a lovely, downtown store named Wine & Words, and I enjoyed a sunny day mingling with fellow authors and enthusiastic readers.

But I must explain my title . . . I could feel a head cold coming on mid-day Friday. Power through, I chanted all day. I woke up to a beautiful Saturday, took cold medicine, and headed out at 8am to setup. Pumped up, I started out strong. Good crowds, people interested in talking about our book, and two great booth neighbors pumped me up.

The voice started going about 10:30am (the festival started at 10am), and nice, uncontrollable squeaks and cracks littered my speech. Some found it endearing, especially those who were already smitten with my t-shirt (see picture, thanks Mom!). By noon, it was all I could do to project my voice over the crowd and train that passed by every so often.

Melanie of the Paper Pear and Richard Peabody of Gargoyle Magazine and Paycock Press, my lovely booth mates, were so supportive. At one point, Melanie offered to step in and pitch the book if my voice completely failed me.

In the end, I hand gestured more than normal and pushed through. My middle daughter, Reagan, hung out with me part of the day. She was so sweet telling people her mother was losing her voice, and she even gave a pretty impressive synopsis of the book. (The fact that she's adorable, if I do say so myself, charmed several people).

It was funny how many people saw the back cover of Depression Cookies and took a second before asking, "Is this you?" Yes, it's the non-head cold, non-heat suffering, hair and makeup done version of me, I wanted to say.

One of the sweetest people I met was Haley Tanner, author of Vaclav & Lena. She and her mother came around to several of the booths before Haley gave her presentation and signed books. They spent several minutes speaking to me and relating mother-daughter stories. They were both lovely.

Silver linings . . . sometimes people listen better when you use fewer
words, and my husband has a quieter Sunday ahead of him.


Kids and Mental Health said...

Ack! So sorry to hear about your head cold and lost voice but it sounds like a worthwhile day in any case. I hope your new contacts visit your site, buy your book and spread the word for you!

Tammy Ellingson said...

Ugh, spring/summer colds are the worst! Seems like mother/daughter teamwork runs in your family. I loved your silver lining comment too. Fewer words; hmmm. Always a struggle for me. You inspire me; so glad I got a chance to read your blog again tonight!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks. I really do feel it was a successful day. Maybe I really did choose my words more wisely because I had to! Thanks for reading and commenting. I do really feel blessed for my mother-daughter relationships both as a mom and a daughter. I'm fortunate.

Beth said...

So sweet that Reagan was with you!

Tia Bach said...

Beth, I hadn't planned on Reagan coming, but poor middle child. She was desperate for some along-Mommy time, she offered. Turned out perfect. People loved seeing I wrote a book with my mom and had my daughter there. Guess I don't need to set up cookies or treats at book stands, just bring my girls!