Thursday, April 28, 2016

Magic Wands and Fairy Wings

Last week, I promised you a piece of flash fiction, and now I’ve totally flaked out on that promise. More than that, I completely forgot about writing the story. We were halfway through today (Thursday) before I remembered that I was supposed to write something and post it. I’ve been distracted this week…but let me go back and start at the beginning.
Last Saturday, My mom and I went to check out Juneau’s very first Mini Comic-Con. It was pretty darn cool. I met a few Alaskan artists, handed out some of my bookmarks, and gave away ten copies of my flyer. I also saw a group of very young Star Wars characters, two Jokers, Galadriel, Maleficent, a hobbit, two Wonder Women, a Lolita, and Elsa. It was delightful to see so many folks dressed up, and there was a terrific family atmosphere. I was happy to look around and see a bunch of folks who fall into my target audience. If the organizers make this an annual event, I’ll be waiting in line to be a vendor next year!
The whole scene got my mom so excited, she suggested we vend at Juneau’s annual Public Market this year. Wheee! It sounds fun, but there’s an expensive fee for vendors and I didn’t sell many books two winters ago when I tried that, so all of this set my brain in motion.

What can I do to increase my sales enough to merit spending that much money?

I don’t multi-task very well. Heck, I just don’t multi-task. And this question, ladies and gentlemen, is why I flaked out on writing today’s story. I got so caught up in trying to answer this question, that I didn’t think about anything else all week. The good news is, I have some preliminary goals.
1   1-      I need to diversify. Right now, I have all of my eggs in one basket (a basket made out of books!) and that’s just not bringing in any grocery money.
2   2-      I need to put my eggs in baskets that complement my book basket. I need to see if I can make and sell additional products that A- sell better than my books, and B- fit into my current brand and have the potential to funnel people towards my books.
3   3-      I need to learn more about the market for any products I decide to make and sell LONG before going to Public Market. Hugs and thanks to my wonderful friends on Facebook who have already provided a lot of terrific input and information about this step!

The plan, then, is to try several different products, and vend at a variety of spring and summer craft fairs and events in order to test the market for those products. I have a slew of ideas, but right now, my focus is on hand crafted magic wands, fairy wings, and baked goods. With a side of maybe some tie-dyes. 

Here’s a picture of the wands I’ve made so far. Each one is made with fallen sticks or driftwood, and includes real crystals and rocks, as well as colored sculpting clay, and various beads and charms.
Doesn't everyone need a magic wand? Seriously, though, if you're interested in purchasing one of these , let me know. I'd also be happy to create the custom wand of your dreams!

And here is an iridescent fairy wing prototype that I’m working on. It’s incomplete, but I'm getting there. The wingspan is, as you can see, over a yard.
Instead of promising you a story for next week, I’m going to promise you a photo. Next week, expect a photo of me in a set of completed fairy wings! the bonus is that you'll get to see the green, blue, and purple hair that I've been sporting since March. ;) Considering my current level of distraction (obsession?) with this project, the flake-out odds are very, very low.

At craft fairs, farmer’s markets, and other similar events, I've observed that highly processed carbohydrates sell very well. So…though I feel like I’ve gone over to the dark side, I’ll be selling three of my most delicious high-carb desserts at our May 14th Community Day on Campus. Even if I say so myself, my Curried Brownies, Dutch Butter Cake, and Whole Lemon Bars are spectacularly delicious, so…my questions for you are,
   1-Shall I sell them in 2x2 inch servings, 3x3 inch servings, or a combination?
   2-How much would you pay for something like this at a craft fair?
   3- If the baked good was prettily wrapped in wax paper and had decorative raffia, ribbon, or twine tied around it, would you pay more than if it was wrapped in plastic wrap, or would the cost/fussiness be a turn-off?

Happy Friday, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

P.S. Never fear, flash fiction will return. And, yes, Magic Together (aka Book Three) is still in the works.

P.P.S. This blog just rolled over 18,000 views for its total life span!!! I am so very grateful to everyone who comes here to read my short stories, my ramblings, and the series of interviews I did a few years ago. I'm also grateful to everyone who has purchased my books, and to all of you who keep coming back, and keep clamoring for another book. I may be fussing about my writing not earning grocery money, but money isn't the reason I write. YOU are the reason I write. Thank you for reading my words.