What it's really like to do a book signing . . . and more
Where to find my latest content. (It’s not on my own blog. Links are below.)
This week I’m excited to point you to two terrific websites on which I was a guest. Both are the work of business experts with whom I am proud to be associated.
Stephen Lahey interviewed me for his podcast at SmallBusinessTalent.com. He wrote, “I find Diana’s realistic, practical approach to sales and marketing very refreshing, and I know you will, too.” Stephen has also interviewed Daniel Pink, Pam Slim and other leading business writers and consultants—I’m thrilled to be in such prestigious company.
Neil Patrick is the 40PlusCareerGuru and his work and website are valuable resources. I wrote a post about How to Earn Money While You Look for Your Next Job.
During the last week I’ve been out hustling for my book.
The title is Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less. It’s available on Amazon. (Thanks for asking. )
I did a 5-day giveaway of the Kindle ebook version from June 5-9. With lots of effort through various publicity channels, I gave away almost 2,000 copies. Hmm, let’s see . . . 2,000 times free equals . . . calculator going crazy here . . . hang on . . . it’s coming . . . it’s a whopping $0,000!
Not only did I work at this from my desk, but I promoted (and sold) my book at the Printer’s Row Book Fest in Chicago on Sunday. My brilliant editor, Sharon Woodhouse, graciously gave me space at her booth—she also owns Lake Claremont Press and Everything Goes Media. (I am self-published.)
I shared a booth with the Gold Coast Madam, also known as Rose Laws. She was Chicago’s reigning madam for decades and still looks terrific. Her cowriter is Dianna Harris, who identifies herself as “the one with red hair”—kind of interesting because for years my name was Diana Harris and I identify myself to people who haven’t seen me yet as “the one with red hair.” If I was still Diana Harris, now I’d be the one with one N.
Also on hand was Bull Garlington, representing his two books. Death by Children: I Had Kids So You Don’t Have To is a highly entertaining book about his experiences in raising children. As Bull points out, it has a genuine seal on the cover. (Midwest Book Award Finalist. Yea!)
Bull is also co-author of The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats with Sgt. David J. Haynes, a genuine cop. Both guys are a hoot and so are both books. Plus there are free coupons to the restaurants profiled in the Eats book.
Now for an observation on what it’s like to sell your book in person.
Selling and signing books from a street booth feels an awful lot like phoning prospects for freelance assignments. If I allowed myself to get all sensitive to my experiences, I would have experienced lots of rejection in the course of landing clients for my writing.
To set the stage, this time I actually wasn’t trying too hard to sell books. I was trying to give away free ebooks. It’s harder work than it sounds.
If you simply sit there, nothing happens. Seriously. Nothing at all happens. Except that it was so cold despite it being June that my nose was running and snot would have dripped on the merchandise without prompt action.
So I stood up, tried to engage people in conversation—Can I give you my free ebook?, or merely handed my flyer with its scintillating copy and a link to Amazon to anyone who would take it as they sped by. And I warmed myself with an icy cocktail. Thanks, Bull.
Why did I go to so much effort to give my book away? The answer is book reviews on Amazon. I’ll do most anything for a positive review because they seem to be essential for selling books.
In my book and in conversation I always say that there is no rejection in phoning for work. Many people don’t answer their phones and some of those who do answer say “no.” However, that’s just part of the process. It’s not rejection.
Giving away books was the same way. Some people purposefully looked past me, some refused my brochure, and some took it and may have tossed it away at the next trashcan. I don’t classify that as rejection, but if I had collected a penny from everyone who didn’t reject me, I could have gone to Starbucks.
Why did I go to so much effort to give my book away? The answer is book reviews on Amazon. I’ll do most anything for a positive review because they seem to be essential to sell books.
Would you review my book? Please??
I was tempted to ask Rose for tips on how to be more popular, but instead I’m asking you for your help. Please review my book. I want your honest opinion. I especially want your honest opinion if you honestly like the book. (Here’s the link.)
Originally posted 6-11-14