“New Voices Festival” at Eltham

June 21st, 2014 | C. J. Dennis, Festivals, Photos, Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival

I had a great time yesterday as one of the guest presenters at the “New Voices Festival” at St. Margaret’s Church in Pitt Street, Eltham.

The audience appreciated my poems, and what I had to say about them. I also had a good opportunity to talk about C. J. Dennis and the Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival. I signed a number of books afterwards, which is always very gratifying.

I had a good chance to talk to Meera from the Eltham Bookshop afterwards. As well as giving me some much appreciated positive feedback, she was also able to enlighten me considerably on the ways of independent bookshop owners in these challenging times.

I was a little surprised that Meera had asked me to sign a number of unsold copies of “Billy”, as I knew she would now not be able to return them to the publisher. Meera replied that she was very confident she would be able to ‘hand sell’ them. This was a phrase I had heard before, but did not fully understand.

Meera explained that one way independent bookshop owners can enhance their own credibility is to offer certain books that are not well known to their customers, yet which they have great faith in. This specific promotion of particular books is known as ‘hand selling’. “Billy” was about to become one such book.

Meera probably does not appreciate just how much it means to a newly published author like myself to learn that a professional bookseller has so much faith in their work.

Here are a few photos from yesterday. As you can see, the event was held in a beautiful hall.

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At the end of the day’s proceedings we were treated to a wonderful exhibition of harmonica and drum playing by two local musicians. (Note the promotional poster for “Billy” on the wooden door in the background.)

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