"Will I flop, or will I draw a crowd? What if I say no and I'm wrong? Can I ever really be sure what to accept and what to decline? Yes, if I've done the event in the past and know it's a dog. Take the pre-Christmas bookstore sale-a-thon where at least 10 authors sit with their works, thereby encouraging customers to confuse the event with a crafts fair. They browse; they pick up your book, turn it over, read the flap, compare the photo to the live person in front of them, smile weakly -- then move on to the best-selling author two chairs down. The first time I attended, I consoled myself that there was a payoff: the deli downstairs had corned beef and chopped liver and really good pickles. Second year, I brought my knitting; the same year I noticed that the paperbacks piled at my station had been signed by me at the first author-thon. Third year, I declined, and I told the truth: too many authors, not enough customers, snow predicted."
I should note that next week I'll be at a huge event with over 60 authors and the sales are always gangbusters! Not only do I do a lot of my own Christmas shopping here, but so do tons of folks. Click here to see who else will be there.