In February of this year I paid a deposit for a vendor/author table at the National Black Book Festival, which wasn't scheduled until October 2015. My book was still in the editing phase but I used the festival as momentum to finish the book and I looked forward to attending hoping it would help legitimize me as an author.
Past festivals boasted some very well known authors and after being around for more than half a decade I was convinced this was a pretty big deal. It was also an added bonus that it was taking place in my hometown- Houston. Side note: I actually asked a friend who had attended about her experience the year prior and she told me NOT to attend that it wasn't worth it but I had to see for myself. . .I had very high hopes despite her warnings.
The festival itself was scheduled for three days and I could draw this post out with a nit-picking critique but I will just say overall it was a bit of a disappointment.
PROS: I met other authors and we exchanged stories, tips and information that I am certain will be beneficial as my journey as an author continues to unfold. I got to hear Roland Martin speak.. .he was extremely candid as he talked about self publishing, sharing some very useful information.
CONS: I sold a dismal amount of books after being told that 1,000 people would come through the festival over two days (there were more authors than readers/visitors on both days). It rained and I am certain that was ONE deterrent but after speaking to other authors I don't think it was really promoted well and the location may have also kept people away, it definitely needs to be more centrally located. . .I traveled over 45 miles ONE WAY two days in a row!
All in all it was definitely a learning experience. I would not attend the festival in the future as a vendor but depending on the author/speaker line up I might go IF it moved closer to downtown.
It's really unfortunate because it is an amazing concept but I don't think the marketing and promotion is being maximized. I do hope that it turns around and returns to the glory days I heard about a few years ago.
Why I Read:
We often spend way more time than we should in relationships that no longer serve a purpose in our lives. Relationships that are actually doing more harm to our spirit than good. We offer up excuses as to why we're hanging on but the bottom line is we need to know when to let go of toxic relationships and understand that it's okay to cut those ties.
Toxic relationships can be romantic relationships, friendships or even family relationships. It's true you can't stop being someone's blood relative but you do have complete control over how much interaction you have with that person especially if they are doing you more harm than good.
How do you know if you're in a toxic relationship? Here are three tell tale signs:
1. Negativity- What type of things do you and the people you're in a relationship talk about? Do you spend your time talking negatively about other people? Does every topic end up bashing something or someone without ever anything positive to discuss? That type of vibe gets under your skin and infects your mind and spirit.
2. Competition- Do you feel you're in competition? You get a new car, they go get a new car or try to tell you why your car isn't as great as the one they bought? Do they brag on their kids and you feel compelled to do the same and one up them with the most mundane of details so that you "win". One word for your both: PETTY.
3. Lack of support- Whenever you mention wanting to do something does your spouse, friend or cousin try and tell you 5,000 reasons why it won't work but they never have any solutions to HELP you make it happen? Or if you have an event or sell a product- do they attend or purchase? If the answer is no, one reason might be jealousy.
If you are the receiver or the receivee (I think I made that word up) of any of this behavior you are in a toxic relationship and you need to either cut the other person loose or work on turning the relationship around. Otherwise you will find yourself stuck in a rut and miserable for as long as you entertain such foolishness.
The dictionary definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. I've always viewed the word "success" as something subjective because depending on what you are trying to accomplish, your success will be different from someone who has a different goal.
For example, if I'm trying to lose twenty pounds and I achieve that goal then that is considered a success for me. However that does not mean someone who is twenty pounds overweight is considered a failure because losing weight may not have been one of their goals.
This is part of the problem when talking about success in general terms. We often use the same measuring stick that others are using to measure their success when our goals or path is not the same. I think that is what keeps us from really living our best lives is because we don't have a clear idea of what success means to us. We only know what society says about success.
This also holds true for people who may have similar goals...using the weight loss example, let's say I want to lose twenty pounds and so does my Facebook friend, Amy. Amy hits her goal in two months and I'm not even halfway there. So does that mean I failed? Not necessarily. Was my goal to lose twenty pounds in two months? Did Amy maybe take supplements or have weight loss surgery or perhaps our metabolism is different?
Success is based an individual achievements. Whether it's weight loss, launching a business or getting new clients. We have to focus on our own efforts, not what Amy is doing, not what Tracie is doing or anyone else. We have to stop worrying so much about the end result and just do the work at our own pace. We all get there eventually if we just stay the course and have faith in our abilities.
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”