Friday, August 22, 2008

Bit by bit, row by row

Sales have actually been pretty good at the marina office. I find the trick is to meet people face-to-face and let them know I have a book to sell and they almost always buy one and sometimes two. That happened yesterday with a long time customer who was just coming down for a day on the water. We chatted a little and then I asked if they'd seen my book for sale. Well no, they said, What about it? So I told them and they were delighted and even bought one for their kids. No doubt about it, being what is essentially an independent writer is like being a small family owned business with all the same issues and concerns. Not the least of which is marketing your product. I've written before about how hard it is to raise awareness for your product when you have very few outlets and no money for advertising or promotion. So far the efforts on the internet have provided little response. I should have expected that considering how vast the internet is and how websites and email boxes are bombarded with ads and junk emails. Heck some of my notes might not have even got past the junk mail filters. One thing I have not tried yet is the craft fairs and flea markets. Those will all be going this fall in preparation for the holidays. The issue there again is paying for the table, which is after all how they make their money. But maybe a good one or two day craft fair would be a good place to invest a few hundred bucks. You'd sure have to sell a bunch of books just to earn back the entrance fees. I love it on Antiques Roadshow when the appraiser tells the object owner..."In a well advertised auction this object would bring in the range of ten thousand dollars." And then the owner picks themselves up off the floor. But that's what I need - a "well advertised" auction.
I suppose I could also hit the road. I read a small book once called "Yankee Drummer" which was all about John Gould's life on the road as a farm implement salesman. This took place back around the turn of the century and the early 1920's. He tells about going to the fairs and showing off they new manure spreaders and then selling to the farmers on "spring terms". Well my book isn't exactly manure, even though some might think it has more then its share of B-S.
But if you can sell cow flap spreaders at a fair maybe you can sell some books.

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