Last year’s March Food City Race Night before the march race was more educational than profitable. I sold 7 books and one tee shirt. There were a lot of other vendors set up on the periphery and all of them were giving away food samples of one kind or another. The middle was scheduled to be full but less than half of them showed up. Maybe the poor turnout was because it was freezing cold and the scariest looking thunderclouds hung overhead all day. Or maybe it was because most of the folks who came by were looking for something free. I did learn that having something to hand out to folks was the way to go, which led us to the mass production of postcards. Food City Race Night before the August race was one of the best events I had ever done. What made it so good was a combination of promotions of “Why Bristol?”, which was subtitled “Murder at BMS” and the very different crowd that was attracted to downtown Bristol versus the BMS parking lot. The night before the 2013 March race was much better; we sold 25 books, gave away several hundred postcards resulting in ??? Kindle sales, I booked a speaking engagement, and I got my picture taken with a Leprechaun, who bought a copy of “The Bishop of Jerusalem” for his mother.

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