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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dog Days of Summer, but Reasons to Howl

I haven't done a general update in some time.

July was my worst month in selling books via Amazon and other platforms. No one knows what is really happening with the self-publish, ebook phenomenon. Certainly, the ease of self-publishing has brought an enormous number of books to the market, so the challenge how to gain attention increases. Noise level is very high.

My current marketing strategy is to get-my-mug-and-books in front of people. I'm searching for events where I can set up my stand, show my books, and talk to potential readers.

I joined about 50 other authors at an event at The Town Crier, an Indie bookstore in Emporia, KS. Sold three books. Stopped at a bar on the way out of town, had fun with the bartender, and sold two more. So I made gas money. Left some books at the Indie store and later got a check for almost $80. They must have sold those books.

I went to Pomona, KS for a book signing–read that hope-to-sell-books event. Pomona (Pop 832) is southwest of Kansas City. Its library is in a corner of its community center/city hall. There were about 10 other authors also hoping to sell their wares. I sold three books: gas money. But it was also worth the trip to see Pomona Lake and meet the folks who came by my display. But that evening, when I got home, I felt an incredible tiredness. It baffled me. It wasn't that long of a drive. I think I understand now.

I had eight books on display. To see another human being pick up a book you have, in some cases, spent years writing and now selling for $10, examine it, put it back down, and walk away from ... it just drains something from your spirit. But near closing, one lady, Jane, bought a book and asked if she could write me a check. Sure, I told her. Check in hand, I then told her I had donated to the library a different book so it was available. Jane said she would go over and reserve it. I saw her do so. Sleep revives one's spirits. I hope to gain an audience one precious reader at a time. I think instead of cashing Jane's check, I may frame it to hang over my desk.

On the creative positive side, I have now finished going through the edits and making changes on two novels, Tortured Truths and Heart Chants that Curiosity Quills, the publisher of Blow Up the Roses, will publish this fall. And the anthology they are publishing this month will contain The Notebook.

This cool thing happened today: I've had so many story rejections over the decades it's quite remarkable–certainly a first for me–to submit a story and have it accepted the same day. Here's to the digital age! There is a caveat: no money for the story. It's going in an anthology and profits will go to support ‪Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which helps patients and families. It's rather nice to think that writing It Was Me (I) may help someone else.

And a new work, Stop Time, progresses.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Randy, I too have a similar tale and wonder at the writing of it. Everyone seems to want to know the writers story - maybe because it gives hope, a light at the end of a very long tunnel? The adage, keep writing wins out! Truly inspiring!