Once again I was vending down at the Printers Row LitFest and sold absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip. Bupkis.
I was even featuring/promoting the CBWW at more than a 40% discount (it was 40% off of cover, and I was going to be eating the tax) ... hoping to unload the dozen or so books I still have sitting around from last year ... but that didn't seem to matter, not one little bit.
I was also pimping the review books, and was running Facebook ads over the past week (targeted to readers/book-buyers), pushing those. While the ads have produced a few click-throughs to the Eschaton site (so far 3,427 "people reached" resulting in 145 clicks), there's not been a single direct order (the links on the site go off to the CreateSpace "store" for each book, sales from which I'd see pretty much in real time ... however, if somebody bothered to do a few more clicks - googling the ISBN, for instance - they could have possibly bought copies on Amazon, but I wouldn't know about that for a while).
Admittedly, the past two years of zero sales at LitFest have carried less of a sting than those years "back in the day", when Eschaton would have a table over in the old (I don't think they still have this) "small press" section ... that was quite expensive, and I don't think we ever covered even as much as 10% of our costs (it has "sucked to be me" for a very long time). At least getting in on the IWOC sub-lease on a table in the IWPA tent only costs me (or any other member author) ten bucks.
I have to note, it wasn't just me not selling much ... of the four other authors who were in on the deal, two sold one book each, and another sold a "sample chapter" booklet of her upcoming book for a buck, with the remaining one also striking out on moving any of her books. The organization, however, did get many pages of potential members leads on the name/email sign-up sheet, so it wasn't a total waste of time from their perspective.
This is the sort of thing that leads me to suspect that I have a cosmic "KICK ME!" sign astrally adhered to my back, that the Universe is all too willing to comply with.
Frequently, when discussing the similarly dismal results of my job search, people are incredulous with my lack of ANY success (to the extent that they essentialy accuse me of not really trying, despite having applied to 2-3k jobs over the past seven years). And, I agree ... if these things are, on some level, "a numbers game", one would think that somebody would eventually buy something, or some hiring manager would reach out to at least interview me ... but NO.
Of course, if you buy into that "Secret" or "positivity" crap, I'm screwed from the get-go, because at this point I've been shit on so frequently that I get out of bed in the morning flinching, just wondering when the next dream-crushing smack-down is coming (and, frankly, the few dreams I remember on waking are so filled with horror about this same stuff, that it's not surprising that I find myself in a deep depressive funk most days).
So, anyway, that was my weekend sitting outside. On the plus side, I stayed from set-up to pack-up both Saturday and Sunday, while most of the other IWOC folks were in for 1-2 hour shifts ... which makes me feel diligent, devoted, and durable ... and I did have some otherwise "pixel people" drop by to say "Hi!" (although I think only one was actually coming by to see me).
I really don't know how I've managed to live this long without killing myself ... because, really, nothing ever doesn't suck in my life.