Earlier this month I spent the day at the Hill Country Book Festival in Georgetown, Texas. This is a very nice venue, with air-conditioning and indoor bathrooms and coffee and snacks. The people who run the festival are very helpful and very dedicated to reading and writing. It’s always a pleasant experience. And there was an excellent selection of free candy this time around.
Here’s the free candy background: Most of the time when you set up at a book fair or festival, the organizers of the event will recommend that you give away little gifts or prizes or keep a candy bowl to kind of entice people over to your table so they will look at your books. Most exhibitors will do all of that, so there’s usually lots of free candy available at the festivals. If the candy picture at the right bothers you, don’t worry. I only give away nice pieces of hygienic individually wrapped candy that comes in a big bag from the store. But you can’t beat jellybeans for a beautiful picture of bright shiny candy. That’s why it’s here in the blog.
Sometimes it can be funny to watch visitors deal with the candy situation. It’s true, people are drawn to candy. It can definitely bring them to your table. It’s also true that a lot of people are just not interested in kids’ picture books. But they still want the candy. So some will come by and look at the books briefly and then help themselves to candy and go. Which is fine with me. Others might walk by very fast and not make eye contact and just see what kind of candy they can quickly grab in passing. That’s fine too. But I think my favorite candy friends are the people who just come right up to the candy bowl and ask me straight out if they may please have a piece of candy. They might just love me for my candy, but at least I can love them for their polite requests.
It seems like the Hill Country Book Festival is growing. This year there were some new authors and artists as well as some familiar faces at the exhibitor’s tables. And it was nice to see some old friends in the crowd of visitors and to make some new ones as well. I hope that everyone is enjoying their books!
At this festival, Cardboard Box Adventures shared a table with InteractBooks, which recently released a great updated version of their free App. Richard, the InteractBooks representative that was at the festival with me, set up his iPad so the interactive books were visible on a much larger monitor. People always like to see what’s on the big screen, so they stop by and take a look. This year, one of our younger visitors was a lot more interested in the cables and cords that made this possible than in what was on the screen. But he figured out most of the cables. I was pretty impressed with his technical instincts.
The winner of our prize drawing for a signed hardbound copy of The Tortoise and the Hairpiece was very happy and surprised. She said she never wins anything, and since she was one of the last people to leave the festival, we were able to deliver her prize in person.
Anyway, it’s really nice to meet everyone who stops by. I love to hear stories about how parents have been able to use the books to help their kids or how much their kids like the books. Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement. It means a lot to me.