Michael M.
mmerriam
Hopkins, MN
Post #: 1,221
Does MinnSpec want to get a table again this year. The deadline is January 15, 2013, $40 for a full table.

Members sold a few books last year and gave away some free stuff. I don't know if we got any members.

The festival is March 23rd.
Terry F.
TFaust
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 976
I'll bring the lamp post but I wonder if it is worth it. Last year it seemed very low on the number of customers and high on the number of vendor tables. I remember only three MNSpec books sold.
Conrad Z.
conradzero
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 209
The venue is small, but so is the price. smile This fair attracts a high concentration of self-published authors and services for self-publishers. It seemed a better venue for networking than for sales. Sales were minimal, I think I sold three books, and all sales were to people I knew and invited to the event. We did get at least one person, Rachel, to become an active member! It was a good place to give away free things, I suspect many people came to the fair for this reason alone. The bookmarks (with QR code) were a hit last year, along with Jason's very-tiny-and-free-books.

The seminars are cheap too, but after going to 4 seminars over the last 2 years of this fest, I've found the seminars vary wildly in quality. Some very good, but others are glorified pitches for services that make you feel like you're trapped in an infomercial. Still others are little more than "Here's a handout, are there any questions?" My suggestion: if there's a seminar topic you are interested in, post it here on the forums and we'll make a meetup out of it without a cover charge. Or if you are determined to pay for quality discussion, then sign up for 4th Street instead.

I'll be glad to go again, split the cost and spend time at the table if others are willing, but this is a small venue, and we shouldn't expect much in return. Low maintenance, low payoff, imho.

You can read my review of the 2012 Bloomington Writer's Festival here.

-Zero
Terry F.
TFaust
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 978
If we ask real nice, I believe GPS will reimburse the $40 table fee. They did last year. The festival organizers advertise the event, but I wonder...if MNSpec orchestrated a "Come to Your Table" campaign using members email, Facebook, and Twitter contacts, AND we had drawings for free books and stuff (I'll throw in some Write Now! games)...I wonder if attendance and sales would go up?
Sherry L.M. M.
careswen
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 30
I like all of Terry's ideas. We could see how much better the turnout is this year if we push the promotion more.
Michael M.
mmerriam
Hopkins, MN
Post #: 1,222
It sounds like the group would like to give this one more try, so I will get our application together. I'll do the same as last year and make myself the vendor of record, run the cash box, and collect all sales tax. I have the ability to take credit cards, which I think helps sales.
Jason D. W.
jasondwittman
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 534
Michael,

If I chose to sell copies of Saint Nicole at the festival, would it be possible for me to accept credit card sales through your phone? (If it's not possible, that's fine.)
Michael M.
mmerriam
Hopkins, MN
Post #: 1,223
Jason,

Yes. The way I handled it last year was that I ran all the sales and collected all the sales tax and then I paid out the authors at the end of the festival. I was prepared to send out checks the next day, but I had enough cash on hand to pay everyone at the table as we were breaking down.
Jason D. W.
jasondwittman
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 535
Thanks, Michael. That is very much appreciated.
Terry F.
TFaust
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 979
The heck with trying to sell books! I'll get a ski mask and rob Michael around closing time...er...I mean, someone might do that, and not necessarily around closing.
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