Monday, September 22, 2014

ORFOB Signing & A Table on a Budget!


Whew! I am wiped. My fellow introverts will understand that despite the ridiculous amount of fun I had this weekend at the Ohio River Festival of Books, all of that social interaction drained me. LOL Here's a quick recap:

4:30 a.m. - I woke up, cursed the world, and put on enough makeup to cover my undead look.

5:45 a.m. - Since I sold my car for $100 to cover my book swag, I was lucky that my dad was willing to drive me to West Virginia. My sister joined us to play the role of my assistant. They rock. :)


Side note: My mom rocks, too. She volunteered to puppysit!

9:00 a.m. - We pulled into a parking spot a few seconds before Tara Tyler zipped in beside us. I was still disoriented from the car ride, but quickly came to when she burst from her vehicle and started yelling, "GET OUT OF THE CAR!!!" LOL I love her.

9:10 a.m. - We couldn't find anyone near the entrance who knew where we were supposed to be, so we wandered in. Finally, at the far end of the ballroom, someone started waving me down. "Carrie! You're right here across from me!"

My first thought was, "Wow, West Virginians are friendly..."

Turns out, it was Casey L. Bond! Haha :) She follows me on Twitter and participates in #NALitChat. We became fast friends.

Ignore the fact that I still look half-asleep.

9-something a.m. - Someone was running late. I won't say who...

On a completely unrelated note, I got to meet Elizabeth Seckman! LOL I'm just teasing, she was there in the allotted window of time for set-up. She and her husband are awesome. I love them.

10:00 a.m. -  The festival started, and people began to trickle in.



The rest of the day until 4:00 p.m. - I was a couple of tables down from Tara and Elizabeth, so I used my ninja skills to sneak over whenever there was a lull.


Here are some other awesome things that happened:

The Cabell County library expressed interest in buying my books.

I met an awesome author named S.G. Redling.

My dad and sister were their usual hilarious selves and made friends. 

A woman complimented my book covers and ended up taking Forward Authority business cards for her writing group.

I conned—I mean talked—Casey into doing an audio interview with E.J. and me.

A woman stopped to look at Strength, squinted at it for a while, and then checked her phone. After a few minutes, she laughed. "I thought this looked familiar. I bought it last week!"

I took home books and autographs from my writer friends! ♥

Plus, people stopped by to compliment my table—which made me feel good since I didn't have the funds to do it up as I imagined. That's why I thought I'd dedicate the second part of this post to...

9 Tips for a Signing Table on a Budget:





1. My postcards and business cards were multipurpose. For example, my Strength card had ways to purchase the e-book on the front and a signing blank on the back.

2. Arcylic display pieces are an investment for all future events and are a great way to make your literature look professional.

3. It's less expensive to purchase your books directly from the source, i.e. Createspace, if you have the opportunity. The only downside is longer ship times.

4. The puffy stars decorating my table were made from folded scraps of paper, thanks to my sister's scrapbooking skills.

5. My gold runner was a clearance item and cost less than two dollars.

6. The banner was a Black Friday purchase from Staples and came in around five or six dollars.

7. Candy is less expensive when purchased in bulk.

8. My giveaway entry slips used to be my outlining index cards—you know, before Scrivener.

9. My dad made my Dum-Dum tree and its height really helped balance out the table.


Question of the Week:
Do you have any tips for table decorating on a budget?

30 comments:

JeffO said...

Looks like you had a great time! I'd suggest always having a table cloth with you, just in case. The events I'm at (not fancy author stuff--yet) the tables tend to be a little...unattractive...and require a cover. The gold runner is a nice touch. So is the candy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your display is really cool. Saw Tara's post already and sounds like it was a really successful event!

Carrie Butler said...

Good call, Jeff! The contract indicated the tables would all be covered, but lo and behold... they were table skirts. LOL

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome table. And thanks for the tips. That's great your dad and sister went with you. I'm shy too and would love support like that.

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Alex! :) I didn't get the same purchase rate with my paranormal romance series, but it was a wonderful event for networking and getting my feet wet! (A lot of readers tend to assume paranormal romance = ghost sex. LOL)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Natalie! It really helped that they were there. I was able to stash my introvert card for a while and be myself. :)

S.K. Anthony said...

I like your table! And the tips are awesome, you rock! How cool to meet Tara and Elizabeth, love them. :D

Catherine Stine said...

Haha, I love your numbered photo chart, explaining each aspect of table setup! It's great that the local library will be buying your books. And what fun to meet so many authors. I've done some book fairs and BEA. My hubby made me posters of my covers that are on foam-core so they stand up quite nicely just about anywhere and attract attention.

Loni Townsend said...

I bow to your table decorating skills. They far exceed mine. It's a beautiful (and educational) setup you've got there!

Melissa said...

This is so cool! I am totally jealous!!! :D

Dollar store(s). You can find all kinds of stuff there. I couldn't have afforded to do my parent's 50th anniversary party without em. And a pack of metallic confetti (star shapes, etc.) sprinkled about the runner or tabletop can add a nice touch of sparkle. ;)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I find if you place cookies strategically, people seem to forget about the table decorations, or lack of them. Oh, in your tired photo, you look adorable. I just wanted to tweak your little cheeks.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

PS, your table was definitely the best one!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

You got to hang out with Liz and Tara? So jealous! Friendly people are the best. Your table looks great and glad you enjoyed yourself. You look great even when sleepy Carrie.

D A Botta said...

Thanks for sharing your experience Carrie! Looked like a good time! I'm insanely anxious about Nashville. I'd feel much better with a dumdum tree. ;)

As we say in Boston: ur a stunnah!

Lynda R Young said...

Your table looks great! I love the tips too. 4.30am start, however, is a wee bit early for me ;)

Chris Edgar said...

I love the floral arrangement and cursive on the banner -- very classy. I feel like I'm stepping into your office (not in the sense in which my kindergarten teachers used to tell me to step into theirs when they thought I'd misbehaved).

Morgan said...

I LOVE the pictures!!! Carrie, you are SO photogenic. Gorgeous. How fun!!!

Mason T. Matchak said...

That all looks pretty dang cool. ^_^ I've hardly even thought about running a table at anything (it seems so far away), but I know I'll be coming back to this to guide me when that day comes. And call me crazy, but having candy at your table seems like a great way to get people to stop. :P

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, S.K.! I appreciate it.

I love them, too! They're both so genuine and friendly. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you! My brain works in strange ways sometimes... Haha :)

It really is great—better than my own local library has ever done!

Oh, how cool! I'll have to look into foam-core. I love DIY projects. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Loni! :) I'm sure you have awesome tables, though. You have the eye (proof: your photography)!

Carrie Butler said...

Dude, I LOVE the dollar store. I could spend hours in there, blissfully wandering the aisles... *sighs contently*

Carrie Butler said...

Strategic ideas are a great idea!

Haha! Thanks, Joylene. :)

Carrie Butler said...

D'aww... thank you! :)

Carrie Butler said...

You should make one! Then pop a Paxil and go. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Lynda! I must admit, 4:30 a.m. was pretty harsh. That's when I'm usually going to bed after design work!

Carrie Butler said...

OR you're just a really sweet person. :) You should see the photos I don't put on the blog. I always look irritated! LOL

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Chris! I'm glad it seems inviting to you. :)

Carrie Butler said...

It'll be here sooner than you think! You'll have to take pictures for us when the time comes. :)

Carrie Butler said...

They really are! :) Aww, thank you so much, Sheena-kay!