I will no longer be attending the 25th Berea Arts Fest.
This decision came quite painfully. Back in July, The Bookstore in Berea was looking to host local authors during the Berea Arts Fest. It was stated that the event would be free to participate in.
Today I received an email stating some guidelines and what to expect. Standard stuff--except for one thing: the event had gone from free to not so much. As stated in the email:
"After much consideration and encouragement from other local authors we will be handling all sales that day and will be taking only 30% of the sales from the books for the day."
I questioned the sudden fee, as it is a bit steep for an independently published author like myself. I understand fees. I have no complaint against them. You're allowing me to use your space to sell my books. Even the local library has a 10% fee when a certain amount in sale is generated. However, I do not understand how an event can go from being "FREE" to having a 30% fee. It brought me to question it, asking if there was no other alternative to the fee, perhaps even a lower percentage we could agree upon, to which she replied:
"We thought 30% was very fair. Our attorney and the Berea Arts Council advised us we had to take a percentage because it was not fair for other venders, etc."
So now the story has changed a bit involving the percentage. At this point I was being urged to withdraw. She also suggested that I markup my books and flat out told me that my pricing was "incorrect".
I know what it is like to not have a lot of money, to not always be able to get what you want, and as thus I have always kept that in mind when it came to pricing my books. I have always strove to keep my pricing affordable to my readers that I cherish so much.
And so I officially withdrew from the event.