Lessons from a book fair

I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to several books signings and events this year, one of which was the fun Day of the Book festival in Kensington, Maryland.

I had a great time holding down the Mystery Writers of America table with fellow scribbler Alan Orloff. A lack of sales was almost made up for by the quirky cast of festival goers that passed by, often coming up and asking “Did you write this?” as they picked up our books.The start of the event wasn’t auspicious, however.  I had just arrived when a young woman walked up to the (prominently signed) Mystery Writers of America table, introduced herself as Gretchen, called me by name, and told me she was ready to help set up.

Thoroughly confused, but unsure these days who I’ve met online via Facebook, Twitter, my blog, the writers clubs I belong to, etc., I said “Great!” and waited for her to explain how she was going to help me “set up” my stash of ten books and business cards.

Well, what ensued was one of the more awkward five minute conversations I’ve ever had, ended only when she finally asked about my partner “Dave.” That’s when I knew something was up and we figured out in a few seconds that she was supposed to be looking for another Matt who owns a publishing house. How she picked our table (without reading the sign) out of the dozens of tents and tables there and asked for “Matt”–and got him–is beyond me.

Name tags, next time. For sure.


Writer of crime fiction, psychological drama, and dark humor.

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Posted in The Journey
4 comments on “Lessons from a book fair
  1. It was fun and definitely quirky!

  2. That’s hilarious! I’m surprised she didn’t catch on when you pulled out 10 books. (Or is that how many the publishing houses are bringing along these days?)

    And I wonder how many years it takes before folks are lined up to get one’s books? Probably ten years or so?

  3. Tuan Ho says:

    lol love mistaken identity stories!

    I got mistaken for a young Sean Connery one time by two Scottish guys in an elevator (which makes absolutely no sense)


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