Today I spent a couple of hours at the Stonewall Pride Parade and festival in Fort Lauderdale. Andy Zeffer was kind enough to coordinate a table for gay authors uner the tent of his publication, Express Gay News. He and I were joined by Eston Dunn and Richard Blanco.
Our mantra was "Gay Books by Gay Authors" and "Sexy Summer Reading." When people came up, we pointed to Mahu as gay mystery, Eston's book as gay sci-fi, and Andy's book as gay Hollywood. Richard's was gay poetry-- though there wasn't that much gay about it.
I only sold two books, though Eston and Andy did much better. But I had fun hanging out at Pride and getting my name out there. Andy handed out a ton of postcards for us, and EGN advertised the event for us and made up a great poster than ran the length of the table. So there was a lot of visibility.
I met several people who'd already read the book, and I even saw a guy wearing my Mahu t-shirt. I'm still trying to figure out where he got it-- he must have bought it online. He was another walking billboard for me!
I saw so many funny, funny t-shirts out there, and was motivated again to try and take the rainbow surfboard graphic and turn it into a money maker on t-shirts. My favorite slogans were "Hi, You'll Do," and "Stop that man! I want to get off."
My high school speech teacher also showed up to say hello-- which was wild. I hadn't seen him in 31 years, though he looked an awful lot like the way I remembered.
So the message of this post is that you have to take advantage of any opportunities you have to get your name out there and sell books-- and any time hundreds of gay men and women (young, old, and in between; handsome, hideous and in between as well) see your name and the name of your book, it's got to be a good thing.