I'm sure that I'm not the only one (Terri Leblanc and Dana Beatty), but I'm a bit tired. When Jed Quinn and I first started talking specifics for this event (on our drive back from the North Iowa Book Bash, April 30th), we envisioned this would all be happening circa 2017. But then Dana chimed in, put on his spurs, and the rest is now legend. You helped us change the literary landscape in Cedar Rapids moving forward.
This is what I have to say about the event, now that it is behind us. Firstly, everyone involved Saturday is truly amazing. Organizers, authors, and helpers. I genuinely enjoyed meeting and chatting with every one of you, and only wish that I would have had more time to spend socializing. You all came together like family, pitched in, supported one another, and proved once again that bookies really are some of the best people out there. I saw authors recommending other attending writer's work, book swapping (my favorite), and social and professional networks enlarging. This crowd of Iowa and Midwest writers really is a special group of people.
Selling books at an event is never an easy gig, sitting at a table, trying to snag complete stranger's interest to pitch books. Stack on top of that that we were in a mall, surrounded with glittering, shiny objects, a Coke machine (bent on corrupting our minds), and the task gets even harder. Terri, Dana, Jed, and I took notes, and will work on making I.O.W.A a bigger and grander experience next year. Cedar Rapids and the surrounding communities really is a great, untapped market for this kind of event, and with the right poking and prodding, I believe we can make this a banner event.
With that said, planning for next year's event will start in earnest. Keep your eye turned to the I.O.W.A Facebook page, and please, don't be shy. If you have ideas about how we can improve and grow moving forward, or other authors you believe would like to contribute, bend our ears.