For many authors, the summer months provide book-selling opportunities in the form of festivals. I do not do many festivals simply because my family's schedule does not spare me many weekends. This coming Saturday is one of those rare times when I will be doing a day-long festival called Boones Creek Day. http://www.boonescreektrust.org/
From my experiences with summer festivals, I have come up with a list of essentials that I pack for these days:
1) Table decor-I keep it simple (tan cloth, rack for books, 1 or 2 decorative items)
2) Freebie- If there is something free to grab from the table, people will come up to it. Freebies include things like: candy, bookmarks, notecards with book summaries, recipes inspired by books
3) Business cards-Some people will order books from online store or website after they go home.Also, I sometimes am contacted for public speaking engagements by people I meet at festivals.
4) Supply of pens-You never know when one will run out of ink!
5) Notebook or legal pad- I often receive information at these festivals that needs to be written down.I also keep a tally of books sold.
6) Change-A given, but a it's a big deal if you forget it!
7) Receipts-Most people won't want a receipt, but some might.
8) Things to keep me comfortable-jacket or sweater, bug spray, sunscreen, water, snacks
9) Caffeine- My 3:00 coffee is sometimes nowhere to be found at a hot, summer event. I pack a Diet Coke in case I have to ward off an afternoon energy lag.
10) Plastic bags or large plastic table cloths-Rainstorms like to hit outdoor events. I have had to make mad dashes to my car with books in tow. Covering books with plastc was the only thing that saved them from becoming a soggy mess.