I’m just now catching my breath after four days in The Moscone Center in San Francisco, where twice a year hundreds of people somehow involved with gift shops get together to browse and buy cool new wares for their shops.
This show was a good place to tout the "little book" series I publish with Feiwel and Friends, as the books have found an audience with grown-ups as well as kids. Bloom! is turning out to be a sweet little Valentine, Splash! is a nice gift for someone small or big in need of a pick-me-up and Peep! is already being linked to graduation and Easter.
So, after brainstorming with the creative folks at Feiwel, a booth was secured. When I received the paperwork, I almost fell out of my beanbag. The booth was ten feet by fifteen feet! That is about as big as my San Francisco living room (no joke).
Given that the three books I have out with Feiwel are just about seven inches square, this was a challenge. How to fill the space? After considering installing a dance floor, a discoball with dry ice machine and serving Mojitos while getting tipsy buyers to sign away their recession-sized budgets on my little books, we went with option B—creating large wall art with the little book characters.
In the past year, I have set up a Web shop with letterpress cards and limited edition prints, but those little under-stated pieces weren’t going to attract buyers away from the fudge served two aisles down. No people, we needed big guns. So I got myself some large canvases and created large Peep! and Bloom! wall art.
The cool thing? Aside from attracting attention for the books, many buyers were interested in the canvases for their shops! I may actually get a few commissions out of this one. But the most important thing to come out of this fair is that Bloom!, Splash!, and Peep! will have a new home in quite a few gift shops this spring.
I have also gained greater appreciation for sales people. I was so relieved to come home to my drawing table, where I can draw and write while listening to music. Selling is hard, hard work. So here’s a shout-out to the Macmillan sales people who do such a phenomenal job selling our books!
Next time? I will surely install that dry ice machine and bar. Not so much for the buyers, but I was in need of a Mojito after pitching buyers all day!
Are you ready to read Maria van Lieshout's Bloom!, Splash!, or Peep!? Click below to buy:
Bloom! Splash! Peep!