What If No One Shows Up

The insecure monster has been visiting me ever since I was invited to participate in a local book fair. At first I was excited at the prospect of getting my book at there in public, but at the same time, I can’t hide among the faceless people of the Internet.

I have been to only one book fair (not counting the ones at the elementary school of my children a lifetime ago), but I did so as a reader. I never paid attention to how the authors set up their tables or how they interacted with their potential readers/purchasers. If only I knew then that one day, I could be sitting behind one of those tables, I would not have these questions.

Do I need props such as business cards, book marks, or posters of my book? Do I need to bring a table since the letter stated:  “Each author should staff his/her own table?” Do I actually need to bring the table to the event? (That could be a huge problem because parking is extremely limited at the library and I am having hip replacement surgery the following week. This could be a deal breaker!)

What is it that attracts traffic to a particular author? Should I bribe them with food? Since much of the book is set in Russia, perhaps a tureen of borscht or some caviar and vodka?



The biggest worry is fear that I will have this party, and no one will come. From what I see out there on many of my writing sites, there are not many books about American families moving to Russian during the Great Depression. If I could throw in a werewolf or vampire, with a dash of romance and a sprinkling of cyber intrigue, then I would feel a bit more confident.

I guess if I don’t have to bring my own table and I can figure out the sales-tax rules, then maybe I will go for it. If I fall on my face, I will do so with people I will probably never see again since I live in a small city where everyone does not know my name….yet!

About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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2 Responses to What If No One Shows Up

  1. Ah the book fair – a special sort of torture that writers put themselves through if they are brave enough. I’ve done several this year some general fairs, some book related. I’ve tanked at some and flown at others. I’ve done the same things – table, layout etc at each one. The only difference has been in location and visitors. I won’t pretend it’s easy to sit there and sell nothing all day but on the days when you can hardly keep up with demand it’s a lovely feeling. I am in two minds about these sort of events next year because writing time is so valuable however. I hope yours went well.

    • kjw616 says:

      I will probably go, but there is one deal breakers. Last year, another author told me he had to supply his own table and chair. But the venue was a museum and this time, it is at the library. I am hopeful that this time, this is not a requirement. Parking is limited, and with my surgery the following week, I would take a pass. They reopen on Tuesday, so I will find out then. How many books did you bring?

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