If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is it a duck? Probably, although I once knew of a roadrunner that quacked like a duck. Maybe it had voice issues?
So is a lemon always a lemon? No.
Many moons ago I was invited to do an author presentation at an RV park. The woman who managed the park said they were full and many of the RVers were readers. She thought it would be a great venue for me. I drove to the RV park, unloaded all of my books and promotional goodies, and set up in the recreation room. Several people arrived and sat at the tables. I thought this was going to be a killer event.
As I started to speak, people began talking to each other. A couple of men even played poker. The funny thing was that I kept receiving odd looks, like “What the heck is she doing?” I had no clue what was going on.
It turned out the manager hadn’t told anyone who I was or what I was doing there. She’d simply told everyone that if they came to the Recreation Room, there would be free ice cream. Talk about feeling foolish! But that’s the life of a writer. You never know what’s going to happen. In that case, I didn’t sell one single book, no one listened to me, and I didn’t even receive any free ice cream.
Oh, well, it was a good experience. Yes, I said good. You have to learn to take the good with the bad. I once did a book signing at a Senior Center. I figured it was good exposure, although I didn’t expect to sell many books. Uh, with one exception, I sold more at the Senior Center than at any other event I’ve ever done. You just never know what’s going to happen.
Fast forward a few years. I spent an entire day at a book fair in the park. What a great place to sell books, right? Nope. I don’t know if it was the economy or what, but there weren’t all that many people buying books. A few people stopped to tell me they’d enjoyed a radio interview I’d done a few days earlier, but they weren’t buying either.
However, while at the park I was invited to speak to a writers’ group about marketing and promotion, and I was invited to do a presentation for a civic group. I was able to do a lot of networking, and I made a few new friends. The weather was beautiful and although the wind was blowing, it felt good. I got out of my office and enjoyed a park setting. Sales or no sales, it turned out to be a glorious day. I got a little sun, had a tasty hot dog and chatted with some interesting people.
I once did a spot on the morning news in Northern Nevada. The station called me later in the day to tell me how well I did. They also asked me to call the Mayor’s wife who had an offer of a large arts and craft fair she wanted me to attend. I also got another presentation out of the appearance.
So even if you feel frustrated and things don’t go quite the way you planned, don’t lose heart. There’s always the next event, and the one after that. You never know what might come from the experience.
You may sell a ton of books, or you might not sell any. However, any way you look at it, it’s exposure for you and your books, and experience is the best teacher. It gives people the opportunity to get to know you, and if they like what they see, your name will be tossed around like a great big red rubber ball.
The frosting on the author’s cake is meeting new and interesting people.
Have you, as an author or a reader, had any memorable experiences that made you spread the word?
Until next time, remember that Christmas isn’t all that far off and books make great gifts. (Don’t snarl at me because I’ve already mentioned a holiday.)
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