I've always heard that you have to have a catch, something to attract readers and hold their attention long enough to tell them about your work.
I've also heard that it's good to have candies, foods of some sort, to pull people over to your table at events. Give lots of stuff away and people will stop long enough to listen to you, or at least pick up a book and check it. Hopefully leaving with said book.
I sat my table up, stacking books, spreading bookmarks and business cards, and filling a large glass vase with 4 bags of cinnamon disks. It all matched, the layout was satisfactory, and I was ready for the readers to rush through the doors. Never did I suspect I'd become a pusher of spicy candy!
Before the doors open a few Lumberton policemen strolled by. I said good morning to them, and them to me. As they walked away I heard one say to the other, "Those red things are like crack!"
Now, considering I'm still walking around a free woman I will assume that his comment was directed at the candy's addictiveness and not it's legality on the streets.
Everyone who came by heard a "Good morning!" from me, or similar salutation. I was usually greeted with a kind response and a glance at the table. Soon that greeting was followed by, "Do you like candy?" Now this drew people's attention even more. It caught them off guard enough to slow them down. Many paused to consider the question, leading them to consider the books laid out around the candy jar.
I enjoyed the fun of it so much that even the author at a neighboring table jumped on it. He would stop people to ask if they'd gotten some of my candy. He'd tell them that no one could pass without taking some. And when I'd come back to my table from being away for a bit he'd make sure I saw that my candy jar level was lower than before. LOL!
It was all very funny. I even made it a running commentary for those who would come by my table more than once. "Do you want MORE candy? Come on, take a handful and put it in your pocket."
So yes, I became the candy lady at Book 'Em. Anyone who came down the fiction hall was offered candy and most took me up on the offer. I even turned it around when someone said they didn't like vampire books with, "Well, do you like candy?" That always got a smile and usually they took my business card as well. :)
In the end, whether it's true or not, I'm going to contribute my book sells to my sparkling personality and the cinnamon disks! I went to NC with four bags and came home with half a bag, and sold more books than I expected to. Yay for candy!
Stop by tomorrow when I talk about the Author Meet-n-Greet from the night before Book 'Em.