Today I dragged some of my wares to a book fair and set up a table as an author. I shared it with a man who was selling titles from his small press. Almost the minute we sat down, he said, “Ooh, I loved these!” and snapped up two little gift books from a trio of titles I had laid out, part of a series I’d written a few years ago. I had a bunch in my apartment, so I thought I’d bring them out and have a bit of a fire sale, offering them at a discount.
This, I thought, is a good omen. I’d barely taken my coat off, and sold two books.
Not so much. The economy, the window shopping, the crowd — I don’t know what it was. An experiment, mostly, I guess, as it turned out to be not a particularly cost-effective venture. I had been asked if I would barter. (No, thanks, I’m trying to make a living here.) I heard a customer ask, “Do you have anything for $5?” (Nothing like being particular about what you read.) Still, we live and we learn, and what was the harm? I blew a day off, and I made my costs back for the day. Big whoop.
I packed up a little early, and thought, Leave on a positive note. So I reached into my box of books, took out out a copy of the title my new next-door friend hadn’t bought, and handed it to him. “Thanks for being my first sale,” I said, “and a good neighbor. I’m sure we’ll meet again.” Slightly shocked, he was, and thrilled.
A little something extra never hurts.