Sit-Rep on the 2017 Maynardville “Thunder Road Author Rally”
There is good news and bad news.
The good: This is a free indoor event in the library and attached senior center, and the attached civic center if the number of participating writers warrants it. You bring your own table. If you absolutely need a table, they will provide one. Chairs are provided. This was the 5thyear for this gathering of writers.
They did a lot of advertising locally and on Facebook.
This year 38 of the 45 writers signed-up actually appeared to set up shop. There was plenty for a shopper to look at.
The library does not ask for a percentage of your sales. They do ask for a donated book(s) to put in their collection, which is the largest number of independent authors within the Tennessee Library System. These books are available to all participating libraries through inter-library loans. The donation is optional.
They even have one or two volunteers to help carry your gear into the sales room.
They administer a giveaway program for any author who would like to display a book(s) as one of their door-prizes.
Every patron/customer is given an author check list to be initialed by each table holder for the customers to qualify for a door prize. This insures everyone visits every table—at least to have their form signed.
After the end of the sale, (1 PM) the library staff sets up a complimentary buffet lunch. It’s partially pot-luck and they ask that if you are eating, you bring something, but that is optional. They will not deny anyone a meal.
The bad: There was fairly limited attendance. Of the AGT members there, I seem to have been the big seller of the day with a whopping 3 books. Russ, BJ, Sharon and Sue each sold one book. I didn’t get Jim Hartsell’s sales information before leaving. Let’s hope Jim checks in with better results, so I can relinquish my dubious honor.
The incidental: This is a very social event. Many of the non-AGT writers all know each other from other book sales all around the state and the area and spend much time socializing. Book sales seem to be immaterial to most/many of the participants.