Thoughts on my Saturday signing experience (4th time I've been at this craft fair in my hometown):
1. The "Local Author" angle is a HUGE draw. For the first time I had both a sign and a framed copy of an article that had appeared in the local paper a couple of years ago. The number of people who stopped by simply because of that probably made up at least half of my total sales - and these weren't people I knew, but people who just lived locally who thought it was cool that I had grown up there.
2. But don't discount the word-of-mouth-it's-who-you-know angle. A woman who turned out to be a mother of a classmate of my sister's (are you following this?) was so tickled when she found out who I was that she bought all my books!
3. Online/social media contacts do matter! One person told me they got my electronic newsletter so they knew I'd be there; another saw my post on Facebook about it. There are never too many ways to spread the word!
4. Being friendly (but not overly so) makes a difference. I chatted with one fellow vendor who was making the rounds. She asked which book was my favorite and I recommended Summer's Song, which she bought. About 4 hours later she came back because she was up to chapter 4 and wanted another one of my books! That was probably the highlight sale of my day.
5. Make yourself & your books appealing. One teenage girl asked me if I'd save her a copy of Summer's Song because she had to run home to get more money. I told her I would try, but that one was going fast (truth, I wasn't trying to play hardball). She took her last $12 out of her purse to buy it!
So yes, it was a successful author appearance (I sold 27 books total) - and I would really recommend taking advantage of any place where you can be the "local author" - people love to know/live next door to/shop with someone who's written a book or two!