For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
After three grueling days on my feet, driving 8 hours round trip to Memphis, I finally can make an assessment of the Midsouth Homeschool Convention. To begin, the people at Great Homeschool Conventions are very well organized and professional. The convention ran smoothly, despite the bad weather outside. At the Cook Convention Center, the Marriott Hotel takes care of concessions and present their food just as they do at any top-notch buffet. All the servers wore vest and tie, silver covered hot plates for food lined each table, even for simple hot dogs. First class and naturally pricey, like all conventions, but not out of reach. However, Rob and I chose to bring our food packed in a cooler. A good thing we did - turned out we didn't have time to grab a bite to eat or go to the restroom. Each time I came back, some one was at the booth!
We left at 5:30am Thursday and were among the first to arrive at the convention center, roughly around 10am. Unloading and set up was easy and we finished around 11 am. The first workshop began at 2:30pm but the Exhibit Hall opened at 6pm until 9pm. After lunch we had to wait for our hotel room to be ready at around 3pm then returned to the convention center for final prep. Thursday would prove to have the longest stretch of time to breath of the entire trip.
Friday was incredibly long and hard as we were at the convention from 8:00am to 8:30pm. At least that's when the Hall closed, we didn't leave until nearly 9pm. Almost 13 hours standing and working on a concrete floor makes one fully aware of every muscle in the body from head to toe! When we arrived back at the hotel, I almost couldn't move and get out of the driver's seat! My body protested loudly "Finally, I get to sit down and you want me to move! No, I'm staying put." Every part seized, frozen in the sitting position. But the fact of the matter was, we had to do it again Saturday from 9am-5:30pm then break down our booth and pack up books and equipment! Needless to say we crashed before 8:30pm and slept until 5am Sunday for the drive home.
Book sales were moderate for such a large turn out, but the interaction, sign-up for the newsletter and exposure proved more than Nashville. This convention draws from multiple states. We met people from Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Mississippi, Texas, Ohio and, of course, Tennessee. We were pleasantly surprised to met people from Nashville who bought book 1 at the local convention last year. They all bought book 2 and stated they will buy book 3 in Nashville when it's available. Mostly we sold books in pairs, and could have sold in triplet if book 3 was ready. I even made a connection with an independent bookstore owner from Mississippi, who wants to carry the entire series. I didn't know this until after I did 'my pitch' - which isn't really a pitch, rather telling how the series came about and answering her questions.
In all, we will return to Memphis next year. Only with better shoes!!