I wish I had some words of wisdom that I could impart to you, my dear readers, but I will share a couple of recent experiences that kind of boggle my mind.
First, my editor, who is also my teacher and friend, frustrated by school budget cuts, decried the 'drying up' of some school visit markets. She writes good books, fun books, and educational books. I've donated a couple to my granddaughter's school library and they've been most appreciative.
Second, I went to a book launch, only my second (not my own - but soon, dear readers, soon!). It was at a local wine bar (these are pretty popular here - we've got some great vineyards in Ohio.) I hadn't been to this bar/restaurant before so I was glad to have the opportunity to support a writer-friend while going on an adventure. I arrived and found everyone in red, which was fun because red was part of the title of her book. Once I arrived, I discovered that the author/launcher had originally planned on asking everyone for $30 towards the event. She had arranged for appetizers and one glass of wine per visitor/friend/buyer. I hadn't thought that book launches were to be paid for. Naive. I've got to do some research on this, but I've got two more launches to go to in the next couple of weeks, so I'll see what happens and report back to you. In the meantime, I bought a mixed drink and had one small taco.
The author sat on a bar stool in the crowded inn/restaurant/bar in front of a microphone and thanked us all for coming. The mike wasn't the best and it was difficult to understand what she was saying. (NOTE to self - check out audio equipment before folks come). There was a line that formed for autographs. I was 'given' one of her books (FREE) and stood in line to have it signed. I was more than surprised to discover that she was giving her books for free.
I learned, a long time ago when I was selling vitamins, you must be judicious in 'giving away' product. You can go broke quite easily!
The evening was enjoyable. I met some old friends and some new and laughed a lot. I know my author/friend appreciated me being there, but I felt uncomfortable at the marketing of her book. There was no publisher mentioned on the book anywhere, so I am assuming it was self-published. Also, I discovered that the book was not only self-published, but copied at a local Office Max or some such and bound with the 'cook book' black plastic thingees. This means that this friend went out and reserved a restaurant, paid for food and drink, and gave away her book - for free.
I don't think this is the best way to do book sales or marketing. I hope she had fun. I truly do.
I'll tell you about a 'library' talk by a local author tomorrow.
Now, it's time to write a little. I spent four and a half solid hours yesterday working on 'The Other Side.' It was exhilarating. One of the few times lately that I have been joy-filled while writing. I am thinking there is a clue here, somewhere. And I believe that clue is -- write a lot at a time. You'll be happier
Life is learning.
PS - I got put on some new meds and the horrid exhaustion is leaving me. I can sit for more than fifteen minutes and write. Praise all the high heavens for finding a good doctor! (I hope - that's my Irish heritage coming in to play. Always seeing the dark cloud hiding behind the silver lining. *g*) Thanks for reading.