Sunday, December 6, 2009
What's in a Name?
This weekend I sold books at two vastly different boutiques. The one on Saturday was at Fairfax House, an old farmhouse built in the late 1830's and now surviving due to the loving care of some volunteer preservationists. This is the second year they have held a boutique at the house for the purpose of raising money for much needed repairs. This poor old lady needs more than cosmetic surgery - she needs an extreme home makeover! While the outside of the house is in somewhat decent shape due to new windows and siding (at least on three sides of the structure), the inside leaves a LOT to the imagination. Literally...
There were about 15 vendors scattered throughout the house, and a civil war reenactment group had a tent pitched selling authentic reproduction civil war items on the front yard. You would think that alone would have stopped traffic on Manchester. Despite coverage in the local paper in the calendar section as well as a feature article (which would have been a perfect tie-in to my book, I might add) there was a very slow trickle of people coming through the house from 9-4. I did sell six books, which was pretty good considering the turnout, but more importantly met a librarian from Rock Hill and two ladies from Sappington House. Getting the word out about my book is critical at this point in time.
Today the Webster Groves middle school held its annual holiday house tour, during which a boutique is held at Hixson from 1-5. Along with a great baked goods spread with coffee and tea put on by the moms, women selling their assorted wares lined the hallways. Unlike Saturday there was a lot of traffic through the building. However most of them were not there to shop but instead to listen to the live music and enjoy some refreshments. It was interesting to listen to the comments about my book title. A couple of people thought it was a book about bed and breakfast establishments (???), a few thought I was writing about the history of my house, and one thought it was about old houses in Webster. I had some explaining to do, but that is okay. The title grabs people's attention. The bottom line of the day, though, is that I only sold three books and I'm not sure I made any meaningful contacts. I can see I just won't be able to predict which venues hold the greatest promise for me. But I'm taking good notes for the future.