Last Saturday, I was at a show that headlined a metal band called Deceased. Vendors were invited to come, as well, and set up a table with their merchandise. This was the kind of event I had dreamed of but never had a chance to attend. Needless to say, when I saw this event announcement on Facebook, I jumped at the chance to go.
However, I felt like, with the limited amount of time I had to prepare, this whole event would be a bust for me. How was I going to sell well if I didn't have business cards (I had run out and hadn't gotten around to ordering more) or copies of my other books, other than those of Crawling to the Light and Wise Turned Foolish? Regarding the former item, I kept thinking I'd come across as cheap, lame, and unprofessional.
Nonetheless, I packed my car with my books, tablecloth, and book racks and made a 40-minute drive to the Historic Grove Theater in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Not long after I set up my table, I was reminded of how much space the few copies of two books take on a standard-sized table. It seems the more shows I attend and the more books I publish, the less room I have. Therefore, at least for this show, it worked out that I had the physical copies of those two books.
I was also reminded that I forgot to make a sign that announced my sale: $10 each book, $15 for both; regular prices $15 and $25, respectively. I noticed a plastic erasable board in my big plastic box. With a Sharpie, I wrote the following:
I also had two copies available of Twofold Love Comeback just in case someone showed interest in it.
After I got set up, I noticed there was a woman setting up a table next to mine. We hit it off really well as good friends. She said her husband is the guitarist of one of the bands playing that evening. I showed her my books and she loved my ideas. In talking back and forth about family, music, and dogs, she decided to buy Twofold Love Comeback.
When the doors opened and as fans and bands and their crew passed my table, many of them stopped, introduced themselves to and hung out with me, perused my books...and...bought them! That I didn't have business cards and copies of all of my books was trivial. As the evening unfolded, one band after another played, and fans came and went as they pleased, something dawned on me:
This was the best show for me to go to when I had something to offer but, at least this time, it was less than what I usually have. In looking around the room, I knew, without a doubt, that the featured bands have had moments where they didn't have much or had to come up with a last-minute alternate plan.
I consider this my Untitled moment. With what little I had, I didn't expect much. However, it ended up being the best show I had been to.
And guess what? I'm going back to the Historic Grove Theater two additional times in October for the following events: Warfest and Halloween Horror Rock Show
I'd love to hear from you. Please share a time you had to do something at the last minute and/or had to come up with a Plan B. How did it go? Was the outcome good or bad?