Come Along with Me.

On the road to Jonesborough

- - today marks 37 days until I step on a stage at the National Storytelling Festival for the first time - for real. What a serendipity - for a nod to Patti Digh of 37 Days blog.

Every year I have told stories in the Festival Story Swap Tent but my dream has been to one day step out on a stage in one of the big tents to tell one of my stories.

This year I have that opportunity. If you are in Jonesborough for the Festival you will find me at Exchange Place on Friday October 2 . If you are going to be there please let me know. I will be looking for smiling, friendly faces.

Exchange Place allots each teller time to tell one story - - 12 minutes. Not a lot of time... but it feels like an important 12 minutes to me.

Now there is a road to go before those fun 12 minutes.

All storytellers know that it takes more that stepping in front of a mic.

Last year I blogged throughout the storytelling festival. This year I thought I'd share my road to Jonesborough, too. And it starts with this post.

Meeting deadlines. Lists, Lists, Lists

Lists are always the key for me. First I think through all the prep needed and the deadlines connected with them. Then I make the plan with a calendar in hand. Starting at the end and working backwards to the start of the plan to be sure that I don't leave out anything or leave anything until the last minute.

As I look forward to going to Jonesborough, October 2 is the over-all target date - but there is lot to do between now and then. Today I am working on CD numbers.

The festival's Marketplace will sell my CDs but its up to me to provide inventory. I have to ship the CDs September 1 to meet the Festival deadline - 3 weeks ahead of the festival.

How many CDs to send is up to me. Today I'm counting my CDs on hand and watching for the UPS truck. I ordered more CDs 10 days ago. With luck they will arrive tomorrow as expected.

The question is - How many CDs should I send. The festival sells on commission and the unsold inventory belongs to the tellers at the end of the Festival.

So here's what's on my mind as I count the CDs - the down economy, my up-front inventory costs and the big question - - the number of sales likely for a 12 minute teller?

What do you think? How many CDs would you send?


Kate Dudding said...

Dear Ellouise,

I'd ask someone who has been an Exchange Place teller last year or the year before.

I'd also send more of the CD containing the story you'll be telling than any other CD. I think people like to buy what they've heard.

Good luck!!!


Sean said...

Kate gives good advice. As well, here is my two cents.

At small festivals, I can easily sell a dozen CD's when I am not a featured teller and the crowd is untrained in the idea of buying CD's. In other words, nearly by accident do a dozen go to new homes.

Your time in JB is on a featured stage, you have the sound/background for the JB audience, and the crowd is trained to come with spending money in their pockets.

I'd go with 50 at least.

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