Thursday, May 20, 2010

Peddling My Wares

Monday, I received the one thing an aspiring writer desires more than anything else (except caffeine). My book proof arrived on my doorstep, courtesy of my publisher and the United States Postal Service. That's some heady stuff - my name boldly displayed on the cover, my words dancing between the pages, I was as giddy as a school girl.

That lasted all of ten minutes, then the reality set in. Yes, there's a book, that I wrote, that will soon be in print, to the delight of dozens everywhere - my family.

Unfortunately, I need to reach more than my family to sell this book, and make no mistake about it, this book must sell. My daughter's college education demands that it do so. Thus, I must begin the full-time job of promotion, for this book is self-published, and my publicity staff is me, myself and I. Yippee!

These are the strategies I have devised so far :

1. Book signing at library and local bookstores, to develop a local following and hopefully, get a lot of word of mouth advertising.

Pro : People who come will actually want to buy the book.

Con : Name recognition next to zero, what if nobody shows?

2. Infomercial on late night television

Pro : Tons of exposure

Cons : Need a body double; the camera would add tons to my frame.

Not willing to sell a kidney, a part of my liver, or my corneas to finance the project.

3. Sidewalk Lemonade Stand and Book Stall

Pro : People would definitely notice me and my wares.

Cons : My homestyle lemonade tastes like an astringent.

I probably need a merchant's license.

Books are not effective thirst quenchers in the heat of the afternoon sun.

4. "The Author Is In" Kiosk

Pro : It worked for Lucy Van Pelt in the Charlie Brown comic strips.

Cons : Charlie Brown and his posse are not my target audience, thus seriously restricting my sales.

5. Pull a Willy Wonka and let a lucky reader find a magic ticket hidden in the book

Pro : Contest angle would really sell books, if only to win a prize (a day with the author).

Cons : Watching a writer drink mass amounts of coffee while struggling to make humor appear on a computer screen is not many peoples' idea of a prize.

No way of knowing if the lucky prize recipient is allergic to the menagerie at my home.

I'm not willing to be upstaged by the animals, or my children.

I'm open to any ideas that don't involve surgery, illegal activities, or decaffeinated coffee.

©2010 Kathleen M Wooton

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