This past Saturday, MSB and I worked the first-ever Texas Heritage Festival in San Augustine. “First-ever” means lotsa bugs in the festival prep, few vendors, small crowds, and low sales. What vendors were there started buggin’ out four hours before the festival was supposed to end.
But the small city is a cute one, with a living town square, friendly people, and lots of opportunities. I discovered, for instance, that their library and some of their stores host authors for book signings, and some sell books on consignment (nice to know if I ever decide to go that route again). From some of the vendors, I learned about other small, but good, festivals in the area, and the always-valuable tip of how to find these festivals.
I also learned that it may be worth my while to do large print and audio books. For the most part, these options are up to my publishers, but as time goes, and I have more books out on my own, I think this will be something I’ll do. I met a one-time trucker who loved to read and used to listen to books as he traveled cross country. Now, he has diabetic retinopathy, and audio books are his only option. Another lady with vision problems requested large print. The market for these may not be quite as big, but I think providing entertainment for those with impaired vision is a good service.
On a different note, we met a wonderful young lady who works as a fund-raiser for the Alzheimer’s Foundation. She was adorable–and we had so much in common. She graduated from Texas A&M, my alma mater; had friends at South Texas University, where I attended grad school; loved the same outdoor sports we do–and on and on. I got her business card, and if I get up the nerve (inviting new people over is one of the few times my shyness shows), I’ll have her and her boyfriend to the house for a cookout.
The vendors I talked to didn’t have much better sales tallies than I did, but it was such a beautiful day, they all seemed to enjoy the outing as much as we did. San Augustine has a larger, more established festival in October. We may try to go to that one. And we may give this one another go next year. Who knows? Maybe it’ll catch on. Meanwhile, I need to contact their library and make myself known.