Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 12/19/11

Frank Coonelly stopped by the booth to buy his copy of the 2012 Prospect Guide.

This weekend I was at PirateFest, selling the 2012 Prospect Guide and meeting Pirates fans and Pirates Prospects readers. Before I get to my thoughts on the event, I’ve got a few people to thank.

A big thanks to Kevin Creagh and Matt Bandi for their help throughout the weekend. Kevin joined me at the booth on Friday and Saturday. Matt joined us on Friday, and he and Kevin joined Bucs Dugout, Rumbunter, Raise the Jolly Roger, and McEffect in interviewing Clint Barmes and Chris Resop plus Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth. It was great to put a face to the screen names from Twitter or the comments section of the site. Or for those of you who read the site daily but don’t comment, it was great to meet you and hear that you enjoy the site.

Thanks to Vinnie Richichi, Joe Starkey, and Josh Miller of 93.7 The FAN for having me on the air live on Saturday afternoon.

To everyone who is new to the site, I hope you enjoy the content and check back often. There will be a post going up later today that will serve as a sort of tour of the site.

The biggest thanks goes to the people who have bought the Prospect Guide, whether that’s online or at the event. I spent three and a half months writing the book, then put myself at financial risk to self-publish the book. That doesn’t include all of the research that went in to the book. So a “thank you” can’t really express my gratitude for those of you who bought the Prospect Guide. Chances are the site probably doesn’t exist without that support.

I went in to PirateFest with high expectations. I wanted to sell enough books to cover Spring Training for the entire month of March. I wanted to get in a position to hire a beat writer to provide daily updates on the major league team, and report live from PNC Park for every home game. That would allow me to focus more on the minors, including more games than last year. Unfortunately my lofty goal fell way short, and even if my goals had been more modest, I probably would have still been disappointed.

I drove back to Virginia last night, and thought about whether I’d go to PirateFest next year. I probably wouldn’t do it at this point, unless the booth was in a different location. We were in the middle of all of the sports memorabilia and baseball card vendors, which really isn’t the site’s target audience. I got in to the event last minute, so there wasn’t much I could have done there. The booth was hard to find for the audience I was trying to reach. Even people who knew we were there and were looking for the booth had trouble finding it.

There’s also the issue of the booth being very expensive, and coming with added fees, such as access to electricity. The costs equaled all of the book sales from day one, which kind of made the event a wash. I’d imagine it would be more expensive to move to a different area next year.

The best part of the weekend was the opportunity to talk to everyone who reads the site. However, that’s something that could probably be done in a much cheaper fashion with a meet and greet event, which is something I’d like to do in the future. I’m not going to rule out PirateFest for next year, but the goals I was going for this year weren’t accomplished, which makes it unlikely that I’d spend the money to have a booth next year.


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