Saturday, September 19, 2009

Encyclo-Media Oklahoma

A year ago, Jacque Graham and I "discovered" Encyclo-Media and started planning on having a booth for 4RV Publishing this year.

Encyclo-Media is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education under State Superintendent Sandy Garrett. The event has over 1,000 exhibitors and many sessions for teachers, librarians, and school councilors.

We saved and continued publishing books. After less than two years in business, we took twenty-three titles to the event, displaying them in a 10 x 10 booth.

On Wednesday, Jacque, Suzy Koch (whose book Being Jacob: First Day of School made its debut), and I, with help from Mike Koch, set up our booth.

Thursday, the event began. Jacque and I were on site, after driving through rain, by 7:30 AM. We left for home a little before 5 PM. Suzy joined us that morning after battling her way through masses of idiot drivers and left in time to pick up her sons at school.

Hundreds and hundreds of the 5,000 or more teachers, librarians, and/or counselors attending stopped and examined our books. More than half who stopped and looked took notes about the titles that interested them. All had to return to their schools and send out purchase orders for any books they wanted.

Quite a few teachers asked if we would/could prepare AR tests to go with the books. Jacque has worked with Advanced Reader for more than one grade level and said we could and would. A few of our books already have study guides, some of which have tests already: Bubba & Giganto: Odds Against Us by Lea Schizas, State of Wilderness and State of Quarries by Elysabeth Eldering (illustrated by Aidana WillowRaven), and Prairie Dog Cowboy by V. Gilbert Zabel, illustrated by Jordan M. Vinyard.

I put together a written process for educators to follow when they order from the company so they get a discount. Most of those who visited with us thought the discount was an incentive for schools to order from us.

Friday, we were on duty from 7:30 until shortly before 3. They locked the doors of the hall at 3. Jacob, Suzy's son and the Jacob of her book, joined us Friday.

All of us were excited, tired, and anxious.

Now we wait.



DarcĂ­a Helle said...

Congratulations, Vivian! It sounds like the event went incredibly well. I hope it brings you tons of sales.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Wishing you many returns on your time invested!

Hmmm... wonder if NC has anything like that????

Anonymous said...

Congrats! on the event. This is a great way to get exposure, 5,000 people is a good sized event. Many wishes for your continued success.

Stephen Tremp

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Great pictures, Vivian. Let's hope lots of teachers order books for their classes.


Beth Bence Reinke said...

I originally thought this event was only for sales on site. That's great that teachers will place orders after they go back to their schools. How exciting! :o)

Vivian Zabel said...

In the past, educators could bring blank purchase orders with them, but with changes due to tightened money problems and legal reasons, that policy has been changed.

Now educators make a list of what they are interested in for their classes or schools. Take the information back and see if schools will issue purchase orders for those.

Sheila Deeth said...

Looks good. Hope lots of people put you on their lists.