For an unpublished--or, barely published--author, just seeing a convention booth like WordFire's is impressive. All those titles, all those best-selling authors, all that publishing experience in one place--it exudes success.
But it's what you don't see that makes their booth in particular so much more impressive.
Today Kevin Anderson, WordFire's creator and owner, posted in Facebook a "year-end-roundup" for the WordFire Press booth (I also lifted the photo he used--I hope he doesn't mind...). Here's some stats he mentioned in his post.
In 2016 the WordFire Press booth appeared in twenty-two shows, almost two per month.
They calculated one and a half million people had access to their books and authors.
With shows, interviews, and social media exposure, they reached around four million people.
The van that transported the booth traveled over 53,000 miles in the past eighteen months.
They also included a list of authors that signed autographs at their booth in 2016. The names include some of the biggest names in the publishing world today. If you've even been to a show and seen the booth in action, it's like a beehive of activity with authors and volunteers alike scrambling to feed the public something that will at least quell their insatiable hunger to read. Those at the booth work their butts off and in a manner of days, many of the same people along with new replacements will do it all over again, same booth--different city. It is so much work.
I've chatted with Kevin a few times over the years--he's got great stories. And I've asked him many questions, but I've never asked him specifically why he puts so much time and resources into WordFire. Then again, I don't think I need to. I've heard enough of his lectures and panel discussions to formulate a guess. Kevin not only has achieved success as an author, but the man loves to see great stories on a printed page, so much so, he's willing to go through all the trouble of creating his own publishing house and all that that involves. The man doesn't have to...heaven knows he could use all that time for more writing or to enjoy the fruits of his previous labors, but to him, it's important...it's worth all that hard work.
We see the finished product, or at least what many of us feel is a finished product, but if you know the process, seeing their booth in action is not just the finished product, but also the beginning and middle as well. If you get a chance to see their booth in the coming year, take a step back and just look. Look at the activity, look at the crowds, the authors and you'll see it's more than just a place for fans to pick up a great read including an author's signature, it's a testament to one man's love of great stories.