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CAL Co-Op Booth at Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show a Huge Success

Posted on November 12, 2015 | in CAL News, Events | by

BOOTH-6The CAL Co-Op Book Booth set records in its first year at the Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show at the Denver Mart. The booth, which was part of the Junior League of Denver Holiday Mart the past two years, attracted 44 authors in 2015, and sold more than 450 books during the Nov. 6-8 weekend. Both numbers exceed previous highs by slightly more than 50%. CAL secured a prime, high-traffic location for its booth, near the main entrance, and Margi Evans and Yvonne Montgomery gave the space a festive, holiday look with garland, lights, bows and red beads. Decorations included covers from every participating author, printed with holly framing.

CAL moved its holiday book booth this year to the Colorado Country Christmas Show, expanded to a 40-foot long space, and added another book rack.

“I’ve been coming to this show for 10 years,” one shopper commented, unsolicited, to CAL author Bruce Most, “and this is the best booth I’ve ever seen.”

CAL invested in a fourth 10 x 10 booth (one more than last year), making total space of 10 feet by 40 feet. With the extra space, CAL was able to add a second book display rack, improve the appearance of inventory storage, and, most importantly, offer authors more opportunities to meet shoppers and sign copies of their books. As many as 10 authors were signing books at any given time through the 29 hours of operation over three days.

CAL author Bruce Most signs his mystery-thriller “Rope Burn” for a customer in the CAL booth at Colorado Country Christmas

“The highlights for me were seeing CAL authors interact with each other and with so many book-lovers, and to see so many parents come to the booth with their children – from third-graders to teens – encouraging them to enjoy reading,” said Denny Dressman, who teamed with CAL President Mike Madigan to organize the booth.

Many CAL members volunteered their services, making it truly a CAL project. Board member Cheryl Carpinello worked the floor, engaging shoppers, and served as backup cashier to Dressman all 29 hours of operation. CAL treasurer Gail Mencini also worked numerous hours as a cashier.

Authors Theresa Rizzo, right, and Thordis Simonsen give shoppers information about the more than 130 book titles in this year’s booth

Lee Mossel, Barb Lundy, Theresa Rizzo, Mary Peace Finley, Dede Stockton and Carpinello all served as book-drop contacts, receiving books from authors, delivering the accumulated books to the Denver Mart on set-up day (Thursday, Nov. 5), re-boxing unsold books at the end of the show, and taking them back to their homes for pickup by the authors.

They helped break down the booth on Sunday night, too, along with Pat Postek, Jodi Bowersox, Mariko Tatsumoto Layton and Margi and Tom Evans. Associate treasurer Linda Lange coolly managed the post-event inventory on-site, the key to an accurate final accounting.

Pam Wolf, Becky Clark and Gail Mencini

The CAL Co-Op Book Booth will return to Colorado Country Christmas in 2016, and will be in the same great location. Several enhancements already are being discussed.

Watch for an announcement later this spring, and plan to be part of this exciting and dynamic CAL member benefit.

CAL authors Jayme Mansfield, Peg Brantley, Maggie Pike and Yvonne Montgomery were among the 40-plus authors who signed books

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