Vaughn Hardacker here: It’s been a month since the release of my second novel, THE FISHERMAN, and it’s been a struggle to schedule events at libraries throughout Aroostook County. My novel SNIPER was a finalist for a Maine Literary Award (along with Kate Flora, Paul Doiron, and John Corrigan–writing as D. A. Keeley) and I sent mailings to a number of libraries through out Maine. My experience has been that library venues aren’t the best place to sell books. People go to the library to borrow books; not buy them. When I read in a local newspaper that John Corrigan was making a tour of Aroostook County with stops at libraries in Houlton, Presque Isle, and Caribou, I decided to attend the Caribou event so John would have at least one person in attendance. As it turned out, John told me that Caribou was the high point of the trip–in fact it paid for the trip. Rather than set up at the library itself, the Caribou Library arranged for him to have a vendor slot at Thursday on Sweden.
TOS is a bi-weekly venue held throughout the summer on Caribou’s main drag (Sweden Street) it features music (both via D. J. and live bands) as well as craft and food vendors. I located John and he told me that he’d sold more books that he had expected to sell. He also added, “This is the way to do it, rather than the library.”
When SNIPER was released I did a Caribou Library event and three people attended (one, an old friend from high school bought a book). This is the second year that TOS has been a bi-weekly summer event in Caribou and I had not attended a single one. However, I took John’s advice and contacted the people in charge of the event and was told there was no fee for being a vendor all I had to do was submit a form available online. I did so and was assigned a spot for the rest of the summer.
On July 2 I set up a table and boy was I surprised! Remember those three people who attended my SNIPER event? Here’s a picture of who attended TOS!
Moral of this story…check out your local venues, they may be more lucrative than you ever thought and cost less.