Scott DeCaro - Woodbridge Center Review

22366746_10210046802910123_6852190640649033486_n.jpg

“This is going to go one of two ways.  I’ll either sell out in the first hour or I’ll sell nothing at all.”  Those were the words that I uttered as I was beginning to set up for the Pop Up Market at Woodbridge Center.  Truth be told, I was exhausted yet strangely filled with energy as I spoke them.  On the one hand, I’d been preparing extensively for the past couple weeks for my first event, ordering copies of my own books to sell, getting the supplies I needed such as a folding table and chairs, purchasing craft supplies (more on that later), getting and testing devices so I could accept credit card payments, and working on my website http://www.crosswriter.com, which you should absolutely check out if you are reading this.  But on the other hand, it was my first event, and I found it impossible to go into it as exhausted as I felt, so I put on a much more energetic smile.  I was enthusiastically ready to sell out, hoping to sell out.  After all, there was no way I could sell absolutely nothing at all, right?

Well, I didn’t sell out in the first hour – or at all, to be honest.  I’m not surprised by that, considering how many books I ordered to make sure I would have enough for the entire event.  But I did sell my books, which is something I haven’t done online in some time.  I consider this event to be a resounding success.  I got my name out there at a mall, with a ton of people walking by my table and noticing my books – even if they didn't buy them then, there is value in people recognizing one's name as an author.  In addition, a number of people who didn't buy books took business cards and fliers promoting my next book.  And, considering it was my first event selling my books, I got a feel for what it would be like and already have ideas on what to do next time that will help me to sell even more and to further promote myself, something which you might remember I wasn't doing at all prior to this event.  All in all, for me this was a wonderful jumping off point, a place to start to get a feel for what will go into future events and a great way for me to begin promoting myself.  When the day was over, I left feeling truly more energized than I did when I started, and I’m ready to go to the next one.  Having a few complete strangers walk up to me, express interest in and even buy my books...  That was an amazing, inspiring feeling.

Speaking of inspiration, I mentioned crafting supplies earlier.  Why would a writer need those, you ask?  Well, a writer does not – but someone who makes crafts would, and my first event really inspired me.  Sure, I want to continue writing and selling my books.  It's my passion.  It's what brought me to the dance, so to speak.  But hearing about all the various types of crafts that would be there and then seeing different vendors selling things they'd made with their own hands amazed me.  I couldn't believe that most of the people there had crafted such beautiful pieces of clothing, art, and even glassware in their own homes and that it turned out as great as it did.  I have to confess that I did not make a profit selling my books because instead I spent any money I made and then some on all sorts of amazing stuff from the other vendors!  It all got me wondering if I could make something of my own – the same kind of wondering I did when I considered whether or not I could really tell a story long enough to fill the pages of a book.  I know the answer to that question to be yes, but only because I took the initiative, put my pen to the paper, and started to write.  So now, having been to my first vendor event, I'm going to put knife to wood and carve some pieces, and see how I do selling those along with my books.  Maybe they won't turn out so great.  Maybe I'll become a great artist and my books will largely be forgotten.  Maybe when I bring those crafts to a vendor event I won't sell much of anything, or maybe I'll sell out in the first hour.  Who knows?  All I know is I won't know until I try.

22448430_10210046799510038_802948345839295969_n.jpg

Well, maybe that's not ALL I know.  I know I hadn't even dreamed of making things with my hands before my first vendor event.  I'm a writer, not an artist.  I can dream up worlds, but I can't ever seem to get drawings, paintings, sculptures, or carvings to turn out the way I want – or at least I never used to be able to.  I don't know if I will be able to now – but I've been inspired to try, all thanks to my first vendor event.  Just as I wonder if I'll be able to make anything worthy of being sold, I have to wonder... What will happen when you try your first vendor event, either selling what you've made or attending to see what's there?  What will you be inspired to do or to create?  There's really only one way to know...

Scott DeCaro, Author - 'Taking the Plunge'

As I sit down to write this, I have to say I feel like I’ve taken a plunge – and just after Labor Day, no less!  Summer might be over, but in my mind that makes it the perfect time to take this specific plunge and get my feet wet.  I’ve been a writer for quite some time, but I haven’t done much to market myself or my work at all.  I’ve attended no events whatsoever, I haven’t created my own blog (and only contributed a handful of posts to other blogs), and I don’t even have a website yet.  I’ve always been more comfortable writing than actually promoting myself and though I don’t mind getting up in front of crowds I’ve never been one to shine a spotlight on myself or highlight my activities.  I have to admit, when I started writing I had this idea in mind that somehow I’d put a couple of Facebook posts out there, friends would share them, they’d go viral, and I wouldn’t have to worry about marketing myself.  Of course, that didn’t happen.  I’ve been looking for a way to market myself and my work, and found Marketspace Vendor Events to be a good starting point.  When I heard about their event at Woodbridge Center, I signed up as soon as the event became active on the website.

It took less than five minutes to go onto the website, register as a vendor, and finally to secure a spot at the event.  I spent another couple minutes this morning going over the contracts before signing them… and then it hit me that the event is about a month away and I’ve got a ton of work to do because of it.  Suddenly it’s become a catalyst for all those things I didn’t do in the past that I should’ve done – creating a website, maintaining a blog, and finding other events to market myself as an author.  There are things I need to do that I hadn’t even thought of – creating business cards, getting a table, and ordering more copies of my own work to sell.  Maybe that makes me a bad planner or a procrastinator, but I like to think it simply makes me human.  After all, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who needs a push to really get going on something that I should’ve done a long time ago.  Perhaps you need that same kind of push to really get started.

I know that some of you out there are sitting on your own abilities because you aren’t sure how to get started.  I am certain that some of you have wild ideas that you don’t even think of as potential businesses and that you haven’t done anything with them because you don’t know how.  Maybe you do make a product that you aren’t sure where to sell or you’ve got skills that you want to market and drum up business with.  Perhaps you’ve got all the skills in the world but you never really wanted to market yourself either and just need that little push in the right direction. Marketspace Vendor Events can be that push for you too!  If you’ve got no idea where to go to sell your products or even how to go about doing it, look no further.  You don’t have to know where to go, because Marketspace Vendor Events sets up those events in places you wouldn’t even think to go to sell your products.  The Crafts and Drafts events are good examples here.  Who would’ve thought you could go to a brewery to market and sell your crafts?  You can’t just walk into a brewery and do that – but Marketspace Vendor Events sets up the event and makes signing up a breeze!  Once you are signed up, you’ve got someone marketing the event that you’re going to be at, promoting it, and people will come to see you, specifically because you make a craft or have a product to sell.  That Woodbridge Center event I signed up for puts me in the middle of a mall selling my books just a couple months before Christmas!  What more could you ask for?

To sum it up, whether you’ve got some ideas about the business side of things or you just need that same kind of push that I did to really get yourself started, Marketspace Vendor Events will elevate your business to the next level.  And I can guarantee you if you sign up for an event unprepared and in need of that push to get you going like I did, once that moment of panic that you’ve got a whole lot to do in a short amount of time wears off, you will be ready to go and get started.  I know I am.

Scott DeCaro - Author Extraordinaire

It’s not often that, as a writer, I find I have no story to tell. Yet here I am, asked to tell my story, and I find that I don’t really have a story to tell. It’s not that I don’t like to tell stories about myself. In fact, I have quite a few of those that I could tell you, but unfortunately none that really pertain to how I became an author. I suppose, because I’ve always enjoyed reading, that writing came naturally to me. I don’t just mean short stories or novels either – I’ve always enjoyed poetry as well, so in some ways even that came naturally to me. I started from a young age, though not with anything worth publishing. That came much later, after high school and some varied studying in college and seminary. So there you have it. That’s my story – or lack thereof – and I’m sticking to it. My name is Scott DeCaro, and I am what I have always been at heart: an author.

Naturally as an author I have the products you might expect an author to have: Books. Of course, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that you might not expect. I’ve got variety, whereas most authors I’ve read do not. If I say Stephen King, you probably think horror. John Grisham, and legal drama comes to mind. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter. But if you say Scott DeCaro and expect to find a single genre, think again. When it comes to writing I’m a jack of all trades. I don’t fancy myself master of any, but then again, if an author doesn’t grow over time, neither will their stories. Thus far, I’ve published two novels, two books of poetry, and a devotional. If you had to pick a common theme out of all of my work, I guess that you might say my relationship with God comes out in all of them. Not that you’d expect a person with a Bachelors Degree in computer science who works in shipping to have gone to seminary and enjoy writing so much that he self-publishes, but in my case, that’s what you get. Of course, that means you get books that are as varied as the man who wrote them. Twin Lights is a dramatic, reality-warping tale, whereas Theology on Tap is a simple story about a bunch of bar flies whose conversations are turned upside down when one of them begins to attend church. Holy Haikusand Theological Tanka are what you get when you combine Japanese styles of poetry with a deep, life-altering faith in God, and The Technology Devotional is a devotional series which focuses on the ways technology can bring us closer to God.

Alright, so maybe something like The Technology Devotional is what you’d expect from a computer scientist-turned- preacher. But that’s not true of all my work. The next book I’ve got in the works is about Christian Meditation, combining influences from Zen Buddhism, Christian mystics, and even martial arts. Beyond that, it will likely be another novel, but who’s to say for sure? All I know is that I will continue writing and publishing. My hope is to continue to partner with Marketspace Vendor Events to help generate interest not only in my own works but for their other partners. Naturally, I’ll continue writing for them as needed for their endeavors – like this blog, for example.