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No Fair!

So things have been going pretty well with my first book – good reviews, solid sales, second printing, all good things. And after three great reading/signings, tonight i hit my fourth event – the Torrington Main Street Fair in Torrington, CT.

It’s a big ole fair with crafts and food and live music, and the Torrington Library sponsored a tent where authors sell their books. Sounded like good old Americana-type fun, so i opted in, even though i had a feeling selling books at a fair would be a tough proposition. When I asked the organizers how many books I should bring, they said 30. I thought that sounded like a lot, so I brought 20. Before I left, my kids asked me what the over/under was on sales, and I said 5. We all had a good laugh.

Guess how many books i sold?


That’s right, NONE. Zip. Nada Nary a book.

The bookmarks were free, and barely anybody wanted them, either.

I was there with two other authors – the adorable Dawn Metcalf, who was selling her gripping YA, LUMINOUS, and a nice guy named Ryan, who had a couple of picture books for sale. We hung out and had a bunch of laughs. Ryan sold some books! Dawn sold a couple too. But I could not break through.

One couple came and did some serious pondering, and I thought my moment was at hand. But then they gave me the old, sad smile that I recognized so well – the one I myself have given out so many times. The one that says, “yeah, no.”

Then a boy came. Perfect target audience. He picked up a book. He perused. He smiled. He chuckled. He went to buy a Slushie.

The whole three hours was like that. It would have been four, but i left an hour early.

So, what’s the moral of the story? People don’t want to buy books when they can buy cotton candy instead. But hey, you live and learn, right? I had a nice time with some fellow authors on a beautiful summer’s night in a lovely New England town, and that ain’t half bad.

Oh, and before i forget: I got a big box of books going cheap, if you want one.


  1. August 12th, 2011

    nan marino

    That boy made a bad choice. Your book is better than ten Slushies. Congrats on all your good book news.

  2. August 14th, 2011

    Patti Christell

    Boy did your fellow fairgoers goof…I love this book! I am getting a group of former 6th grade students back this year as 8th graders. I KNOW some of these kids hate to read. I can’t wait to introduce them to CJJJ. So, don’t throw away the books! I just may need to buy more than just this one I take with me everywhere. My husband is a pastor and when he preaches, I serve as music leader. Several weeks ago after getting my copy of “NOT” I was sharing some of the tips with another member of the congregation. We were laughing so hard. Today before church started, I read the part about reading and the expanding waistline. I was in front of the church and she was in the back row. So there I was, reading your book from the lectern, on the microphone. All the earlycomers were laughing. More than one person said, “Hey, what is that book? I need to get one. Keep the faith. I am trying my best to increase your book sales here in Springfield, in the land of Lincoln.


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