MSB got off work at 11 p.m. Friday night, and he was rearin’ to go, but of course, I was dead asleep. I’d worried about how he’d do, getting off work so late, then having to get up at 4:30 to load the truck and drive. I got up at 3:30, made coffee, double checked our inventory and set-up items, and watched the clock with the intent of giving him all the sleep I could, but still get him up at 4:30 on the dot.
He was amazing. A quick breakfast, and he was ready to roll.
God did us good for this first time out. Overcast skies, light to moderate breezes, comfortable temperatures, and terrific vendor-neighbors. The community of vendors is an amazing one. Everyone arrived before the sun was up, even those who, like us, had to drive a ways to get there. Those who were busy erecting their stands and arranging their merchandise were still willing to lend a hand when needed. We were set on a corner near two clothing booths and a canned-good vendor (who is now my new best friend!), each of whom were quick to help us newbies out with info about other festivals, state taxing, and virtually anything else we had questions about. The canned-good vendor, now affectionately known as the Salsa Lady, gave us a jar of jelly that didn’t set, but would be great for a ham glaze, and a jar of her wonderful salsa. MSB bought two more jars from her–jalapeno jelly and hot pickle relish. Does that sound like we spent our profits? Well–Salsa Lady bought my book and two others from us. We made out better money-wise, but who’s most pleased with their purchases is a draw.
We have a lot to learn about how to display the books, we’ll definitely need another table and more book stands, but generally, we did well. Because I’m the author of the book, Give the Lady a Ride almost sold out. Folks like to meet the writer, have their books autographed, and even have their picture taken with “a “real, live author!” so that gave me a bit of an advantage. I wish I could’ve found some local writers to join us, but no one answered my call. Still four of the other authors sold one a piece. At first, I was disappointed that I didn’t sell more of their books, but then I reconsidered. We were open for business from 8:00 to 4:00, and selling the number of books we did during such short business hours is actually pretty good. When Ride was in the local bookstore, several months passed before I sold out, so maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
I can promise you this, though–The Canopy Bookstore is definitely a labor of love. After figuring the cost of my books, vendor’s fees, and advertisements–but not counting gas and a quick meal–we were almost $50 in the hole once the day was done. Still, what we missed in profit we gained in togetherness and fun. We’re already looking forward to the next festival!