Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Iron Cupcake Challenge Wrapup

The book-themed Iron Cupcake event turned out to be a blast. The best-decorated award went to Charlotte’s Web, and Twilight won the best-tasting award.

Interested in entering a future Iron Cupcake challenge? Contact Sandy at

Meanwhile, enjoy our cupcake-themed mints, bandages, floss, notecards, and playsets.

Our cupcake picks:
Hello Cupcake
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
Cupcakes, Cupcakes and More Cupcakes
The Cake Mix Doctor Returns

Now the bad news. Sales sucked, despite Sandy's best efforts to put in a good word for me (thank you). I sold a total of two bandage tins. I have to learn from this stuff, because we need to know what to say yes to, and what to decline.

a. While a drink generally loosens the pursestrings, I'm worried that events at bars don't seem conducive to purchases of stuff. This is a corollary to my ideal bookstore location theory--it's great to be near a restaurant that serves alcohol; near a bar, not so much. But most of your business (ask Barnes and Noble) comes from folks waiting for a table.

b. Outside events in late fall can be tough. It was dark for some of the event, making browsing rather difficult.

c. I thought my target customers were the 20 bakers. But they were so focused on their creation stations that pretty much none of them browsed my table. Most of them probably had my best book, Hello Cupcake.

d. My location at the Tiki Bar was hard to get to for everyone actually, especially when folks started staking bar seats. One woman left her cupcake depris on one of my books. It was only about fifteen feet to a garbage bin. Future events are at Moct, which is much roomier. The competition is generally the third Monday of the month, though it's not held in December.


Tonight (Wednesday, October 21st) is Sherman Alexie. We're spending much of the afternoon moving cases. Don't forget to come at least a half hour early, maybe an hour if you want a good seat.

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