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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Don't Be Shy!

If you're going to sell books, you have to let everyone know you have books to sell. You cannot be shy about it. You don't have to put on a grass skirt and dance, but you can hand out postcards or brochures to those you meet.

I feel comfortable on the internet. I send out tweets and status messages. I post to this blog on a regular basis. Connecting with people online is often easier for those of us who are bookish.

But yesterday, I was reminded how important it can be to connect in person. I took my father for his regular checkup at the podiatrist's office. We were there for a longer time than usual. The doctor asked how things were as she worked on my father's toes. I couldn't think of much new other than the amount of snow we've gotten and my writing. I bolstered my courage with a deep breath and quietly mentioned the fact that I have a new book out with a great cover. Unfortunately, I didn't have a postcard of the new book with me, but I did have a photo of it on my cellphone. I showed it to her. She glanced at it, then she went back to my father's toes.

"Nice," she said. "How many books have you written?"

"Thirteen," I answered.

That got her attention. So I told her what kinds of books I wrote. The odds of her buying one of my books are practically nil, but there was an assistant in the room as well. In fact, there are quite a few people who work in that office. I've been taking my father to the office for a long time. Why didn't I let them all know I was a writer with books they could read? Maybe because it seems a lot like boasting. Maybe because it seems inappropriate in the setting.

Maybe because it's easier to talk about all the snow than to announce you're a bit crazier than you look. :-)

Writing is fun. Promotion is a tough job, but all writers have to work at it.

The next time I go to that office, I'm bringing brochures with me.


MarkD60 said...

I had a scuba student who put "Novelist" as his type of employment on his student form. I kinda chuckled and thought "yeah sure". But later, in the library, I looked him up, and he had over two feet of shelf space filled with books he had written. Needless to say, I read them all, and am his biggest fan. His nameis David Poyer.

Penelope Marzec said...


That's exactly what I'm talking about. David Poyer made a new fan out of you.

That's what I need to do. Leave no stone unturned. :-)