Gearing up for Word on the Street

September 7th, 2015 by Potato

Word on the Street is just three weeks away, and I’m excited to have a booth there this year, where I’ll be hawking the Value of Simple (the booth will be called Simple Investing).

It’s tough to estimate how many copies I’ll need on hand, so I just figured that if I sold a copy every five minutes I’d be doing pretty well, did the math, and will arrive with just under 100 copies. Running out would be a good problem to have, so I’m hoping that it turns out to be a conservative estimate — but if I’ve over-estimated, expect a sweet sale for xmas orders this year.

I’m gearing up for it in other ways too. While I’ve long been with PayPal to accept credit cards for orders through my direct site (and to invoice for credit cards for side business stuff), for this kind of event I wanted to get a mobile card reader to take payments on-site. I was briefly excited to see that PayPal had one called PayPal Here — and it even supported Windows tablets! — but then saw that they don’t like Canadians and I had to go find someone else until some indeterminate future date when the rollout came north of the border. Intuit has an option for Canadians, but only works on iOS devices. That leaves Square1, which I had actually heard of and knew as the little start-up that kicked off the use-your-mobile-phone-to-take-credit-cards business. Though they don’t support Windows tablets or Blackberries (the devices I will have on-hand at WotS), they did support Android, and Wayfare is currently shopping for a new cell phone and will likely go Android.

I have to say I was impressed with the whole process — easy to sign up, and the hardware is tiny and light and arrived in just a week. Thanks to this thread at CrackBerry I was able to get the app working on my BlackBerry (which does run many Android apps — getting them on is usually the tricky part), and have charged myself a $1 sample transaction just to see how it worked. Other than having to sign with my finger (no pen or stylus I have seems to work on the BB’s screen), it was incredibly smooth and easy. As an aside, given that new BBs run Android apps, I’m surprised companies with apps like this don’t bother to port their apps over so us dinosaur BB users can download them without workarounds. I know we’re a small and dying breed, but it’s not nothing.

Other than that I’m trying to come up with all the material I will want at the booth to give away and help with promotions. I’ll be bringing along some hardcopies of the reading guide, which makes me wish I had designed it for standard print sizes instead of for screen display. Bookmarks tend to be a standard thing, but I’m not sure what to put on mine that would make it useful or stand out against a sea of hundreds of other bookmarks (maybe one of the comparison tables? “Don’t Panic”?).

Wayfare had a great idea to take advantage of the family-oriented nature of WotS: have stickers for the kids and RESP info cards for the parents, so I’m working on the design for that, with not much time left to send it to a printer and get it back before the big day!

Readers, anything else you think I should include? Or is this getting to be too many little bits of cardstock at the table?

1. This is an affiliate link, but that didn’t affect my review of Square. If you use this link to sign up they’ll waive my credit card processing fees, but if you do so after WotS it’s likely that will be of no benefit to me anyway.

2 Responses to “Gearing up for Word on the Street”

  1. Says:

    Don’t just sell your book. Have a dozen other similiar books available at your booth and sell those too. i.e. The RESP book, Blunt Bean Counter’s new book, Gail’s books etc. Sell lots of books, not just yours.

    Personally I’m not a fan of give-aways. People paying for bagfuls of garbage that basically come home and go in the landfill. Buy the book, or NEXT IN LINE!

  2. Potato Says:

    Thanks Glenn, I had thought about creating bundles. Wonder if there’s enough time to pull it together…