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I’m not sure how many people were attracted to my book signings by anything I’ve written or posted … some. “Some” is the best most writers can do when asked how many books sold as a result of their promotion efforts.

You have to worry about oversaturation, which is why I have only one more signing planned this year in Albion … plus one in Kendallville, and my first out of the county, in Auburn. Unless I get invited to something else, I’ll stop until my next book comes out in the spring (ahem—that’s the plan).

You don’t have to sell your writing … in fact, one of the best fiction writers I know has no intention of getting it published. But if you want to be a working writer, you have to sell the soap.

It can be rough for a writer, selling the soap. A lot of people don’t like your kind of soap. Many others will only buy the brand name soap they’re familiar with. And, let’s face it, a lot of people just don’t read—I mean, use soap—at all. There you are, going door to door, hoping someone will open up long enough for you to meekly say, “I designed this soap myself … it’s full of exciting, soapy action, soap figures you’ll root for, and themes that resonate in a soapy world.”

“Sorry, but I’ve already bought Stephen King’s soap.”

Many people who’ve never actually tried to write or sell their writing say it’s easy. I’d love to wash their mouths out with soap, but then I couldn’t sell it.

For their Images of America line, Arcadia Publishing does a routine first printing of 1,200 copies. They did a good bit of promotion and distribution themselves, but still … 1,200 copies.

I have to sell enough copies of The Notorious Ian Grant to justify writing another book in the Storm Chaser series. I have to sell enough Slightly Off the Mark books to show people want more. I have to …

And so it goes, with some similar story for each of my books, and each future book. This is why I get so annoying every time a new one comes out. My message basically boils down to “let me entertain you”, and I need to deliver it in a way that’s, well … entertaining.

So if I bug you to join me at Noble Art Gallery on October 3rd, or at Joanna’s Dealicious Treats in Kendallville and the Cupbearer Café in Auburn on October 10th … and I will, probably tomorrow … go easy on me.

With that much soap, hopefully it’ll all come out in the wash.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 2nd, 2015 01:48 pm (UTC)
Soap is good stuff!
MORE people really should use soap!
Oct. 3rd, 2015 04:54 am (UTC)
Oh, absolutely!
Oct. 4th, 2015 05:23 pm (UTC)
Best of luck to you. I'm still working away at editing last year's NaNoWriMo story because I'm determined that it's going to be my first foray into the world of trying to get published. Selling the soap is not an easy task, but I do enjoy reading your take on it. It's helpful for an aspiring author to see the next steps!
Oct. 5th, 2015 05:49 am (UTC)
Yes, I wish I'd had author friends blogging about their next steps when I was starting out! It was a way lonelier business, pre-internet.

I only won NaNo once, and I didn't really like it because of all the post-editing. I'm one of those people who does better doing some editing as I go.
Oct. 5th, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
I'm extra lucky because I can read about it online and I've gone to a local author convention a few times and there is a lot of good advice that circulates there. I still have to get my own work finished but when I do I have a few places to start on my road to finding a publisher.
Oct. 5th, 2015 03:57 pm (UTC)
Oh and re: Nano, I'm still working out how I like to edit (so far it's not my favourite) but I do like the excercise of getting a first draft out as quickly as possible. I just need to get faster, and better, at the editing process.
Oct. 8th, 2015 02:22 am (UTC)
Well, no matter when you do it, most people don't like to edit!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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