I just got back from my first book event of the year, Murder in Magic City in Birmingham and Murder on the Menu in Wetumpka, AL. After two years of hitting the convention and conference circuit rather heavily my husband and I did an analysis and decided to back off this year. We enjoyed the conferences, meeting the other authors, meeting and making friends among the fans but the reality is we don't sell that many books at the conferences and it's hard to tell if all that effort and money actually make a difference in book sales.
So this year we're going to a very select number of conferences and as luck would have it, these two conferences, back to back on Saturday and Sunday, ninety miles a part in Alabama were two of the best ones we've attended.
First of all they were very well organized by Margaret Fenton and Tammy Lynn, and both ladies and their committees treated us like royality. Murder in Magic City was a one day, one track conference and so the authors and fans mingled all day and developed a commarderie by the end of the day. Since we were all staying over to be ferried to Wetumpka the next day, there was time for author bonding and friendships to develop.
The next day we were bundled in cars and were driven to Wetumpka, a tiny picturesque town outside Montgomery, were 150 of the townspeople gathered for Sunday lunch and the opportunity to talk to authors. Each author spent 15 minutes sitting at four tables where they could talk directly to the participants about themselves, their books and anything the fans wanted to talk about. And each author was given a chance at the microphone to tell the whole group about their books. And an enormous number of the attendees bought armloads of books which they had authographed. It was incredible to visit a town with that many active, dedicated readers. The people were very nice and most appreciative of our visit. I felt as if I was visiting them in their home.
My next schedule event is similar to the Wetumpka lunch as I am scheduled to attend the Fort Bend Literacy Dinner in Fort Bend Texas. I will be interesting to see how it compares to the Alabama event. Meanwhile, I'm still on a high from the weekend and I thank all the organizers of the two events for their efforts, I had a great weekend.