Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Well, excuuse me!

Since having a fun and successful time at the Books, Brushes and Blooms festival this past Saturday, I’ve been looking into doing some more. So, I sent out emails to contact people for various festivals within about a five-state radius, politely explaining the information I wanted, and letting the person know what I would be selling (i.e., copies of Surviving Serendipity). I wanted to share two responses that I received with you, from two very different ends of the spectrum:

(Note: I already had all the information I needed from this website; I just wanted to know whether I qualified as a retail vendor or an arts and crafts vendor)

“Jacquelyn - I would consider you an arts & crafts vendor. Obviously, your book is your art.

Succinct, yet polite, I think you’ll agree. Now, on to the next one, which was a response to a general query for information:

“First, the show is sold out for 2008. Second, selling books is not a craft. This is strickly a craft show with crafts made by the vendors themselves.”

Okaaay…first, despite email being accepted as a fairly informal method of communication, I do believe, especially when communications are occurring between strangers, that it is customary to include a greeting and closing, even if it is as simple as the addressee’s and author’s name.
Second…yeah, you’re right. Selling books is not a craft. Writing them, however, is. Please understand that I am NOT putting down people who do create and sell crafts; crafting is a hobby, and sometimes for some people a business, which requires dedication, hard work, and extraordinary talent. However, I defy any glassblower, woodcarver, seedbeader or jewelrymaker to show me a piece of their work which took over SIX MONTHS of daily, dedicated work to create, three more months to polish, eight months to find a market for, and six further months of polishing. One product, one craft, one single, solitary piece of work.
Now, I would be completely accepting of an email that said: Dear Jacquelyn, Thank you for your interest in our festival. However, at this time, all of our slots for 2008 are full. In addition, we only accept applications from vendors selling “hand-crafted” items. Sincerely, Whoever.
That took me a total of thirty seconds to write. Wow, what a time cramp.
And third…”strictly” isn’t spelled with a ‘k’. If you’re going to insult me, at least use spell-check.

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