Notes from the 2015 Chicago Book Expo

(this is a copy of something I posted on Facebook)
My fellow Tamale Hut Café Writers Group members and I had a good time at the Chicago Book Expo yesterday.  The snow seemed to keep many of the book buyers away, but I had many great conversations with the few hearty souls who braved the elements, both shoppers and fellow exhibitors.  A few conversations stand out:
– our table was next to the charming Delia Jean, who was there representing the Ladydrawers Comic Collective.  We bought a few of her booklets, and are looking forward to the book she was promoting, which will be out in May of 2016.  She was a great person to be sitting next to, especially as the crowds thinned as the day wore on.  I hope she stops by one of the THC Reading Series nights.
– on the other side was Christine and Jean-Michel from Red Anemone Books.  Both had interesting books to sell (I’ve already bought the e-book version of Jean-Michel’s book) and we had a nice conversation about book marketing and cover design.
– a couple from Denmark stopped by the table,  They’re in town on holiday and saw the listing so they thought they stopped by.  The woman is a journalist, and said that she always wanted to write a book, so I slipped into my Writers Group mode and tried to encourage her to try.  I explained how the barriers to getting published are virtually gone these days, and she seemed like she was getting excited about the prospect.  I regret I didn’t get their names, but I gave her a flyer and told her that if she does publish something, she should e-mail me because I would buy a copy!
– I saw GinaMarie Lobianco again.  I stopped by her table last year and bought a copy of the first book in her little star series.  I read it over the summer and really liked it, and told her so when I saw her yesterday.  We had a nice conversation about dreams and ambitions and self-publishing.  I picked up the next book in the series (actually the third, but who’s counting?) and invited her to the Tamale Hut for a Reading Night.  She asked that I e-mail her to reminder her in January, and I’ve already set a calendar reminder to do so.
– I wandered the 8th floor area, because we didn’t get a lot of foot traffic when we were up there last year, and met Wayne Turmel, who has written his first book, a historical fiction novel.  It sounded interesting, and since I was really trying not to buy too many books, I picked up the e-book this morning (because e-books don’t add to the clutter, right?)  I’m looking forward to reading it because it sounded fascinating.  He’s hosting some kind of a Authors Marketing event at the Lisle library in a few weeks.  I’m going to try to attend, so maybe I’ll be able to read it before then and can give him some feedback in person.
– I had a fascinating chat with K.B. Jensen, who made the same mistake that I do, in that we discussed the writing group she runs in Hyde Park and didn’t really talk about her book.  It’s listed as “An Artistic Murder Mystery,” which, since my wife is an artist and we both like mysteries,  so it should be right up my alley.  We talked about writers groups and reading nights and the possibility of cross-promoting the THC offerings with hers.  More to come on that.

It would have been good if we had sold more than one book across the four of us at the table, but I’ve already had one e-mail about joining our Writers Group, and a number of people expressed interest in attending a future Reading Series night, so I think it was worthwhile going.  Besides, I got to hang out with some of my writer buddies.  That’s always good, right?

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