St Mary’s School Fete

Yesterday, I did my first market in about four years! I had started looking to see what markets were happening & I stumbled across the St Mary’s School Fete. It was about 20 minutes from home and outdoors. In the past, I found that school fete’s were a great place to showcase my books, so I signed up.

The weather has been pretty awful and, in the lead up, there were numerous emails saying that things were being moved around, but it was all still going ahead.

As well as my books, I had my sister’s picture book, Oma & Opa’s Song, and goodies from one of my kids, Reptile Studios: 3d printing & design.

Due to the weather, my original plan for my table didn’t happen. The photo above is what I started the day with, however so many signs blew over, it didn’t take long for this to be pared back quite a bit!

The day was windy and wet. Thankfully I was under cover, and the weather didn’t stop people coming by. So many amazing kids, parents, and grandparents stopped by to check out all the books & 3d printed goodies, and many went home with them too.

It was so much fun to be out there talking to people about my books and the stories behind them, as well as sharing my passion for reading, and the writers’ groups I run for young writers. I was also able to show off all the anthologies I’ve done, so many kids were excited by these.

At the end of the day, I gifted copies of my middle grade books to the school for their library. I’m sure the kids will enjoy them.

I have done markets before, and learned a few things this time:

  • Be flexible – days like this, I had to be flexible and change things as the day went on. If I had insisted on the set up I had planned, it would have all blown away, literally!
  • Showcase everything – there are a couple of things that weren’t for sale, more to show off what I do. Having these opened up some great conversations & sparked some opportunities
  • Have a helper – I didn’t have a helper for this market, and it was hard work. Thankfully the other stall holders were great & were able to watch my stand so I could get a cuppa & go to the bathroom, but having a helper would have made a huge difference.
  • Get to know fellow stall holders – as in my last point, they were able to help out when I needed some help, it was also lovely to chat when things were quiet.

Markets are a great way to get in front of readers. I enjoyed sharing books like this, however I’m now completely exhausted. I’m going to do more markets, just need to pace myself and not do too many.

For anyone from St Mary’s School reading this, thank you so much for having me and letting me showcase my books & love of stories at your school fete.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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