Today author Sandra Horning made the first of three unique appearances she has scheduled for this month. She wasn't at a bookstore or a literary festival. She wasn't at a professional conference.
She was at Pumpkintown, USA in East Hampton, Connecticut. Next Sunday, she'll be at Rose's Berry Farm in South Glastonbury from 10 to 12 and at Lapsley's Orchard in Pomfret Center from 2 to 4.
Her recent book, The Biggest Pumpkin, is about a big fruit. Fruit...orchards, farms, pumpkintowns...you can see the logic here, right?
With traditional bookstore appearances, writers are relying on readers coming to them. Readers don't always show up. Believe me. I've been there. With appearances at places like Pumpkintown, however, writers are going to readers. Writers are the ones who show up.
Now, one could argue that people who do turn up at traditional author events are more likely to be committed readers and more likely to buy books. However, there are a finite number of them, whereas the number of books out there seems to go on and on and on. When authors appear at an orchard, farm, or pumpkintown, they're putting themselves out in front of all kinds of people. Some of them may be committed readers, some of them may not. Some of them may be readers who just don't go to book fairs or book festivals. Some of them may have a big interest in, say, pumpkins, but haven't heard of your pumpkin book. And now they have. Authors going out to potential readers in this way gives those potential readers opportunities that they wouldn't otherwise have.
But someone has to bring the book to them.
Authors Janet Lawler and Leslie Bulion have also made appearances at orchards or fairs to support books with links to those types of places.
You may find authors anywhere.