The life and times of a writer/promoter 3 months in

Well howdy everyone Smile (thought I’d start with a different greeting). I hope you all are having a good summer. I know for many people you’re roasting with heat but hopefully you can find ways to cool down (or at least drink your troubles away Winking smile) but I’m rambling already.

So today I wanted to talk about my experience as a promoter/salesperson/author these past 3 months (I still work full-time, maybe someday writing will provide a more substantial income). I’m not going to share any figures like total books sold or profit made for two reasons, 1. I don’t have all my figures yet and 2. I can’t share all my secrets the one time! Vampire bat

For those of you who know me a little you may know that I’m the obsessive type. It’s a double-edged sword, it helps me to get stuff done but I’m certain it can sometimes rub people the wrong way and it does take up a large part of my free time. I have done many promotional activities starting with a convention (both selling and giving a talk), putting up over 200 posters around St. John’s, giving out bookmarks (not sure but probably over 200 of these as well), a book signing, 2 radio interviews, a newspaper interview, a book launch, having a table at a Farmer’s market, use of Twitter, Facebook, a blog, a website, sending out my book to many blogs, Shellfari & Goodreads, placing books on consignment in many stores, selling while I do deliveries at work, selling to customers who come into work, delivering copies to friends & relatives, doing interviews for blogs and other stuff that I’ve either forgotten I did or will do in the next month or so. Oh I should say in case you’re new to blog I’m talking about my first novel “The Newfoundland Vampire” of course Hot smile.

newfoundland vampire1

What I’ve learned/accomplished:

Well like I said before I’m trying not to be a pest and I’ve learned the importance of not writing a spoiler filled review for a book (ok that’s a little off topic but still I learned it recently Thinking smile). I have had people come up to me and say they’re heard me on the radio, read the newspaper article or saw one of my posters which was nice. I’ve learned that success (at least for 99% of writers) is a slow process and you must have a great deal of patience. Also that while it took me 2 years to get a book out, people have it read sometimes in one night (one person did just that, much to my delight/amazement and you can read about it here). I can see the benefit of writing two or three books all at the one time to keep up with this demand and I certainly see the benefit of writing a series as people have asked me will it be the same characters and one woman in particular was thrilled to find out she would find out what happened to them next Smile. Speaking of, talking to someone who has read and enjoyed your book is a wonderful experience, I hope it happens to me many more times yet.

I’ve gotten some great reviews (4 on Amazon and 4 on Goodreads among others, you can read about them all here) and I’ve learned to handle some critical reviews without getting angry (with thanks to Pat who’s always been there to give advice Open-mouthed smile). And got to chat with (and in some cases become friends with) some great people online.

In terms of selling I saw that while I had a nice push in April and May, things have slowed (at least in person) for me in June and July. I have also discovered that selling to the general public is hard (two weekends at a Farmer’s Market with just 9 copies sold was rough, but I’m giving it the rest of the summer at least). In comparison to a convention where I sold 36 copies in 2 days. I don’t mind when people aren’t interested in my book but sometimes I get dirty looks (for the poster above I can only assume), lame excuses (saying you have no money while you count out 20’s just makes you look like a jerk) or stupid jokes about vampires being real or how come I’m out in the daytime, I’ve heard them all. Please just smile, nod or just be give a friendly “hello”, it’s really not much to ask. I have learned that the other vendors at a Famer’s market are some of the nicest people I have ever met. The food there is all excellent and I would certainly recommend it if you have one near you.

I have also learned that getting reviews is hard! Most people are either busy, not interested in my book or never get back to me. Also those who have given me reviews (and interviews) are wonderful people (you know who you are, thanks so much!) and I will certainly be in contact with all of them for book 2 Thumbs up.

Conclusions:

So where does all this leave me? Well with more to do before I start writing again. I think I’ve mostly tapped out the free advertising and will be getting into some paid ones (suggestions welcome!). I haven’t forgotten a blog tour and I will do one once I finish submitting to blogs (the end of July is my cut-off time). I also have another convention the end of September (Atlanti-Con, come see me if you’re anywhere near Corner Brook, NL) and of course the wonderful feeling of getting my first pay check from Penumbra, which will arrive in the next few weeks  (and by arrive I mean show up in my Paypal account Smile).

I’ve also found that writers, editors (and plenty of other folk online) are a great bunch of people who like to share ideas and help each other out. I know I’m only just starting my journey as a writer but as Aerosmith (who I’m going to see this weekend, can’t wait!) says “life’s a journey, not a destination and I just can’t tell just what tomorrow brings” so I might as well enjoy it Devil. Until next time dear friends, I am as always…

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4 Comments

  1. Keep on trucking.

    • Thanks Kent 🙂 you too, best of luck and thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. Great summary of your experiences, Charles – upbeat and encouraging, as always. You are a glass half-full kinda guy. Hopefully someday your glass will overflow with goodness.

    Pat

    • Hi Pat 🙂 what a nice comment, thanks so much! I wish you all the best as well. I’ve always said life is too short to be miserable. I have my down days like anyone but I always look forward to the future. I’d highly recccomend writing a book to anyone, it is a great ego boost and gives me something else to look forward to =)


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