I’d sell my soul…well not really but I do markets :)

Hi Everyone Smile It’s been a little while since I did a Random Musing (about a month) so when Tasha (fellow Penumbra author and friend) suggested that I write about my selling experiences it seemed like a good idea Smile.

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Writing these days (at least for us small-time authors) is also all about promotion and selling. I’ve tried my best to sell my book but it’s been over a year and I’ll admit that my sales are now very slow. Slow or not I keep at it Thinking smile. I continue to promote myself on Twitter and I do Flea Markets and the occasional Farmer’s Market. I had two people at a convention tell me that I promote myself very well, so that was encouraging. I did put up a LOT of posters last year and I’ll certainly do that again for book 2 but I’m off track, Farmer’s Market.

Last year I joined the Farmer’s Market Association (it was basically a requirement to have a table at the market) and started going on Sunday’s. Sadly in my experience a Farmer’s Market is not a good place to sell a book, by August I realized that with my table and membership fees I was actually down money, so I stopped going. I should note here that the organizers were great people and a pleasure to deal with and the other vendors as well. The food and other offerings at the actual market were excellent and I always enjoyed myself, just didn’t make any profit (or therefore sell many books).

All hope was not lost though, a friend of mine has her own farmer’s market (Some Good Market) and here I did sell a few copies. Laurie does a great job organizing it, is kind enough to sell my books for me when I’m not there and does charge any membership fee (just a fee per week of course).

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The same goes for the vendors and products, always excellent. The problem is sales, on a good week I sold 6 copies for a total profit $60, minus the table fee of $25 equals just $35, which is ok until you factor in that I was there for over 6 hours. So in the end I’m more or less relaxing/reading/writing and getting a tiny bit of money for it. Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s not all about the money and you’re right. Certainly doing a flea marker or farmer’s market is a chance to meet some nice people and do some free promotion but ultimately I have to decide whether it’s worth it or not and how many times is enough.

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I know this is getting a bit long, so I’ll finish up. I’ve also done a bunch of different flea markets, for the most part it’s also a very difficult place to sell a book. Once again the best days I’d sell 4-6 copies and usually less. What I’ve discovered is that I had to diversify (another vendor told me this which I appreciated). So I know I sell comics (Ebay is brutal but in person is much better), used books, my book (The Newfoundland Vampire) and Magic cards. At least this way I can still make a little money even if I sell zero copies.

So it’s the end of May, the weather is getting nice and I have choices to make. I’ll do at least one more Flea Market this month but June, July and August? Until book 2 comes out it might be time for a break. I am finally going to start writing book 3 tomorrow and of course there’s a ton of geeky movies to see Vampire bat (along with other summer goodness). Have a great weekend everyone, if you’re an author then I wish you the best of luck selling and if you have tips/advice for me I’m always happy to hear it.Hot smile Until next time (and yeah a movie review, I did see 2 this week) I am as always…

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2 Comments

  1. Charles, networking with other authors and having a book party with invited guests is a neat way to meet lots of other authors and readers (more potentially viable customers than at a flea market). It’s best to have a venue at someone’s house (nice big house) where the host is a people person and knows how to lay out a nice spread of snacks and drinks (wine, tea, coffee, water). If several authors go together and share the expenses, there will be more books for readers to choose from and more authors to entertain and read excerpts to everyone so all the pressure is not on you. If you haven’t tried this approach it might be fun like having a cocktail party. Maybe try it in the fall when your second book is out.

    Pat

    • Hi Pat 🙂 This is an excellent idea, I will certainly keep it in mind for the future. I agree Flea Markets are not a good place to sell a novel, I have only made money recently from selling other stuff. Thanks for the advice, always appreciated =)


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