I had a great time at the Word On the Street festival. As a self-published author, part of my biggest challenge is creating a fan base. I don’t have the money of a traditional publisher behind me; I don’t have the guidance of an agent nor the money to afford a publicist. It’s all up to me to network and self-promote.
I decided to volunteer at Word On the Street to get a sense of what’s out there in terms of books, see how authors handle book signings, and maybe meet some people who can help me out. I did meet a PR rep who gave me some fantastic author’s tax tips and some advice on promoting myself. I had a great time setting up tents, distributing tables, listening to authors speak (I got a picture of Stuart McLean. Love Vinyl Cafe!), and helping lost visitors find their way around.
I have to mention how well-organized the festival was. Fiona Hedley was in charge of the volunteers. She did a great job. She handled the day with a constant smile on her face. I’m glad to have been part of it.
As a member of the Canadian Authors Association, I also volunteered at our booth. I hope I convinced a few writers to join us. I certainly tried! I wonder who will win our free membership contest. At the same time as talking about our organization, I managed to sell some of my own books. Go me!
Overall, it was a fun day, spent outdoors on a beautiful sunny Sunday blending with the crowds and meeting other book lovers.