Some of you who follow me on Facebook know that I’ve joined a group of award-winning authors called CWISL (Children’s Writers and Illustrators in South London). Apart from fabulous carrot-crunching meetings and wash-down-that-cake-with-wine winter brainstorming sessions, I also took part in two of CWISL’s community events last weekend. For me, it was a new experience. I should say Balu has inspired me to spread the word about my books. Many of my books have been around for many years and I never did anything like this. I think the power of 1 is not as good as the power of many.
We were at the Carnegie Library Winter Fair in Dulwich. I sold two of my books and many of others too. I loved talking to kids about all the books on display, helping them choose. Parents, grandparents, I-am-not-impressed nursery school manager – I met them all. We had kids come up because the authors of these books were right there at the stall. They asked questions, commented on illustrations and pondered about what to buy.
For me, it was a first experience of doing such a thing with other writers and also selling my books by hand. My business brain was telling me that the hours I spent there didn’t justify the sales. But my creative brain knew why I had to be there. It is the connection – the presence of a local author, the interaction with parents and children, recommending your own books and the books of your friends. It is the kind of grass-root connection that I lack in my writing world.
I learnt a lot about stickers, banners, stall displays. I learnt to relax and wait for the buyer to come to us – but this time not on the Internet. But in the real world.
I’m thankful to be part of this wonderful group of CWISL-ers.
These books were on display at the event. If you missed the event, you can buy your books here.