We were greeted with strong winds and non-stop raining on the day we were supposed to ingress our products to the SMX Convention Centre. That means that while our hands were filled with boxes of books, our umbrellas were being blown out of proportion and soon, it ended up in the bin. The experiences we had for next five days only proved what it takes to be an indie writer. I thought I had played all the roles before – writer, editor, seller, accounting, book cover designer, etc. But I forgot a lot of other things such as the delivery man, inventory personnel, salesperson for the whole five days who opens and closes the shop. It was a new list of tasks at the book fair.
This is our representative, Jez who helped us big time. He was the best person for the job. And by the way, he is also a poet! A very talented man! The day of the ingress was chaos, but we’re glad we managed to fix everything to this! See photo below.
Our booth was located in front of the stage where events were held. On our first day, we saw and heard Boy Abunda’s talk about reading books. He is a famous host in the country, so I was really surprised and delighted.
There were a lot of other fangirl-ing moments, including Rocco Nacino and Joross Gamboa. Paulo Avelino was also there to promote Ang Larawan, a book written by Nick Joaquin that was turned into a movie. The best fangirl-ing moments for me was when I met Dean Frances Alfar, Bebang Siy and Eros Atalia promoting their newly translated book, Ang Manggagaway. I bought my copy and even had them signed it. Ah, pure bliss!
I was also overjoyed when people dropped by our booth and asked what we do. And when they learned that we are indie, they would either get our contacts or buy our books. Sometimes they’d do both because they also want to learn how to self-publish. Some thought the idea was fresh and I’d see the amusement in their faces. n the last day, Porcupine Strongwill was there to sign her books, Forgotten Things to Say and Angelic Conflict. On the last day, Porcupine Strongwill was there to sign her books,
Forgotten Things to Say and Angelic Conflict.
After five days of selling our books, we were absolutely exhausted. But I reminded myself that this has been my goal from the beginning – to be at the MIBF not just as a reader, but also as an author. A month ago, my dream came true because I worked hard for it. The book fair has opened a lot of other opportunities for 8Letters, and if you’d ask us if we’ll do it again? We’ll be very happy to!