You can open your eyes to possibilities or be blinded by the obvious. What I mean by this is that you can be engaged with the world around you and you would be amazed at what comes back or be so focused on one aspect and you sit waiting and you don’t realize what is happening around you.
As a recent published author and entrepreneur, I have invested much of my time, effort and some money into this adventure. I can sit and try and capture every single sale that is within grasp and focus on just trying to sell a book…or I can be more like myself and just share what has become my book. The Inspire Book Fair was in Toronto. For someone all the way in Vancouver, you look at the airfare, accommodations, meals, registration fees and all other expenses and you think to yourself, “is it worth me going?” If I go, how many books do I ship? If I ship 20, what if they sell out the first day? What if I ship 100 and I sell no copies and now I have to lug them all back home (feeling defeated). Well, I shipped 70.
The first two days of the fair, I walked around and did not sell a single copy. I gave three away because it might lead to something but I never thought twice about this. The third day, I start having sales but in the back of my mind, that is not the most important part. You see, at the Inspire book fair, I am walking around, meeting people, engaging in conversation. I see other booths that are meticulously counting their books and break even points. Questioning if it was worth coming to the fair or not…they are not looking at it as a ‘fair’ but rather as a ‘fare’. The difference between the two is a ‘fair’ is enjoyable and no obligations…you are there to enjoy yourself. If you think of this as a ‘fare’, you are only looking at the bottom line…the bottom dollar. Now it is also a perspective of mine that is neither right or wrong, it is just my observation of how I would handle a situation. I am sure many people made many sales.
I had engaging conversations and I appreciate the chain of events that the universe throws up at me every so often. One person came up and the word ‘storytelling’ stopped him. We had a lovely conversation and Mario told me his story. It was compelling and he is featured in a book called ‘Guts’ by Sunil Godse. Mario told me to make sure to pass by Sunil’s booth. I wander about because this was a ‘fair’ after all and I was enjoying myself. The only thing missing was cotton candy! I happened upon Sunil at his booth and we had a great exchange of thoughts and ideas. I gave him a copy of my book and puzzle pieces and in return, he gave me two books. A note here – I was trying to rid myself of my stock so I didn’t have to lug everything back and now he was giving me two books (and one was a hard cover)! But Mario led me to Sunil. Near the end of the fair, I was visited by Siobhan. She knows Mario and Sunil and both said that she needed to visit me. We sat and had such a riveting conversation and we both shared of ourselves. She and I both agreed that there was a universal force that made sure we met and that I did not back out of attending this book fair. These three individuals have single-handedly made me appreciate going to the fair and made my trip fully worth while. There may be some amazing collaborative pieces to emerge and if not, I have three new friends…and folks, friends are priceless! I also have my new found booth buddies. The people who had their booths around mine. The bonus is that I have had other wonderful conversations and all become icing and I will keep in touch with them all. Please check out their links as they are the same as me…building their name and brand.
See, I went in to this adventure seeing it as a ‘fair’ and the people I might connect with and that there might be opportunities; however, the opportunities were not to see and hope to sell books. Others there, were more focused on the ‘fare’ that they sat, waited and counted their costs vs their profits. I see others who engaged, walked around, smiled and shared. I really do believe that if you enjoy yourself at the ‘fair’, people gravitate towards you. See what the end results are but I went in to a ‘fair’ and am doing what I should…having fun. To me, it is not ‘fare’ because I am enjoying the ‘fair’.
Honourable mentions and new friends:
Diane Kolar – http://www.dreamawaypublishing.com/ – children’s book (beautifully illustrated)
Moko Heathers – www.mdheathers.com – romance novel (as a former drummer in a pipe band and kilt wearer, the title sounded interesting – The Kilted Lover)
Manal Rabba – www.veltmark.com – cool Velcro book marks. Just in time for Christmas
Domnizelles Publishing – http://www.domnizelles.com/ – a great collection of children’s book
Sunil Godse – www.radicalsolutionsgroup.com – Books – Gut, Trust your Intuition and Fail Fast and Succeed Faster
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