Flash Fiction Month may be over, but I’ve been busy ever since. I’m a member of a local arts and crafts society, and when one of the other members suggested that I sell my books at an upcoming tabletop sale, I thought “Why not?” But then it proved impractical to order in paperbacks, and I’m reluctant to encourage people to pay for my flash fiction collections since the ebooks are free, so it was pretty much just Face of Glass on disc. I actually feel like I’ve put together something really good–you get multiple ebook formats on the same disc as the audio of the three tales–but with a six foot table you really need to be selling more than just one thing.
So I dusted off my tools and put in a couple of orders for some shiny new materials and I spent a week or two weaving bracelets. If I’m honest, it really was more about making the table look good–and not just showing up at a craft sale with a bunch of identical (if carefully produced) CDs like some kind of weirdo–than it was about making something I actually expected to sell. Still, I was pretty happy with the results.
I’ve been focusing on writing for the last couple of years–the last five or so if you count academic work–but before that I actually did quite a bit of jewellery. I had some in a local shop for quite a while, but despite having my work (more or less) available on the high street it didn’t do tremendously well. I sold a handful of things, and it brought in a bit of money, but the jewellery was most useful as an option for unique Christmas and birthday presents. I hate getting people chocolate or anything else you have once and then it’s gone, but it’s a nightmare trying to find something else different year after year.
Long story short, I went in on Saturday morning thinking that if I made my money back on the table, I’d be happy. And I did! Plus a fair bit more. By the end of Saturday, as far as I was concerned, Saturday had been a roaring success. I’d made a little money, I’d got my books in front of a crowd for a whole day, and the jewellery had attracted a lot of attention. I was looking forward to more of the same the next day, but at that point Sunday was a bonus.
Sunday was not a bonus. Sunday was three times as busy. A lot more people stopped by my table and a lot more took an interest in the actual process of making the stuff. There were more kids around on Sunday, which definitely helped–they were really keen to find out more about how everything was put together and how long it took, and once I was talking to them more people came to listen. There was actually a bit of a crowd at one point!
But while the event was already a success just in terms of being a fun weekend with lots of interesting people, it turned out to be a very good move financially as well! It’s definitely not enough money to let me quit my day job, but since I don’t have a day job it’s pretty much the best thing I’ve got going on at the moment. It seems as though there are a lot of craft sales coming up nearby, and if this one is anything to go by then my main problem will be making things faster than people buy them! Admittedly that’s mostly down to the fact that these bracelets each take hours to make, but I feel like this is still a good position to be in. It’s got the added bonus of being something I can do in my own time, so I’ll be able to keep it up (or stop suddenly without seriously annoying an employer) while studying for my MA over the next year.
So it looks like I’ll be doing this again pretty soon, and I may even open up an online shop at some point. In the meantime, if you see anything you like then just let me know!
Well, it’s been a month (almost to the day) since I mentioned that I’d be attending the Winchester Writers’ Festival this year. With just under a week left before the event, I’m pleased to say that that month has been spent productively. Behold:
Brand spanking new Flash Fiction Month paperbacks with brand spanking new covers designed by the amazing JD McDonnel. The one on the right is particularly noteworthy because until just now Red Herring didn’t even have a paperback. Even though it’s been out for the best part of a year. Yeeeeeeah. I’ll admit, I kind of dropped the ball on that one. But since the ebook is plastered all over the internet for free, the paperback just wasn’t a priority. That said, if you do fancy getting one, they’re priced extremely low and the wraparound covers will look lovely on your shelf.
You can tell I’m a pretty big Walter Moers fan. You can also tell which book is OCR is Not the Only Font and which is Red Herring since the new cover design offers something other than a blank white spine. I’ve got plans to use the same design for subsequent instalments in the Flash Fiction Month series (not that you have to read them in order), and they’ll eventually form a pretty little reverse rainbow on the shelf. Apologies if you already have a copy of the original OCR, but on the bright side those are no longer being printed and therefore comparatively rare.
The cover image continues over to the back of the books, adding a colourful accent to the blurb. Though you’ll probably notice that I try to make my blurbs colourful even without the image.
But wait, there’s more Writers’ Festival swag to come!
Using my vast knowledge of fiddling with computers for several days until they eventually to do the thing I want them to do, I have produced a CD. This disc features a whole host of goodies! As well as some choice pieces from my steadily growing range of readily available work–that is to say, stuff anyone could get on the internet for free anyway–it includes the complete text of Face of Glass.
As the case insert might suggest, however, it doesn’t end there. The disc will also work as a regular audio CD, playing The Three Tales from Face of Glass. With a 40 minute total runtime, this is perhaps the main feature of the disc. This audio version of the three tales was originally planned as a nod towards the storytelling theme running through the novel, but the actual process of recording them made me realise that they form a substantial work in their own right. Though I will almost certainly make this audio version available online at some point, I think it’s really best listened to away from the computer, somewhere comfy. The CD is handy for this, though obviously sticking the files on an MP3 player would be just as good.
I’ll be handing out a limited number of these discs at the festival, so if you’re reading this and you’ll be there, let me know (in the comments, on Twitter, anywhere really) so I can save one for you. Otherwise, your best chance to grab one is probably at the open mic night on Friday: I’ll definitely be there, and there’s (almost) no chance I’ll have blown through my whole supply by that point.