Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More on Selling Books vs. Selling Cookies

So yes I made a comment on my last post about selling cookies, because I used to make killer chocolate chip cookies and sell them. (keep reading for a chance to win cookies!) When Uncut Diamonds came out, my one wish was that it would sell like my cookies LOL. Which of course is a silly notion, because my cookies sold just by existing, whereas a book needs much more behind it to sell. Like what?

Exposure

A wide demographic

Author Familiarity

Excellence in craft

An appealing cover

Marketing efforts

That certain something

Magic

Need I go on? There is so much behind any particular book or author's success, and when it's all said and done, even the experts will say that they don't really know. If they did, they would do it for every title and have constant bestsellers.

I would love nothing more than to sit and blog, write novels and edit other people's novels all day long. And I could if my husband still had the mortgage business that allowed me to pursue my hobbies and passions sans income. But when the real estate/mortgage crisis hit three years ago, everything changed. I considered spending my time in Vegas, writing in a hotel during the day, gambling at night to pay the bills, but somehow I don't think that plan would work.

So he and I resurrected the cookie business model of 20 years ago (chance to get cookies coming up!) which looks like it will be our livelihood, at least for now. I'm an idea junkie and he has an MBA, so between the two of us we come up with all kinds of plans. Currently, it looks like the cookie business will be the cash cow. Which is fun, because I love making cookies almost as much as I love writing.

I'm currently offering chocolate chip as well as white chocolate chunk with macadamia nuts. And don't ask for the recipes. You have to marry into the family for that.

HOWEVER, do not despair, because I'm going to send some lucky person a DOZEN of my COOKIES (you choose which kind) as a 500 FOLLOWER celebration giveaway. I am so close to 500 followers which is like a miracle to me, and I want to show my appreciation for all of you who have supported me and my giraffe this past year. I've given away my books before and this time it will be COOKIES! Unless you're outside of the U.S, then I unfortunately can't mail the cookies, but I will mail one of my books if you win the drawing. To enter:

Each task gets +1 -- Be a follower, leave a comment, tweet or facebook, link on your blog-- with the potential of +4 points. And if you add it all up in your comment, you get an extra one-- total potential points +5.

Winner announced Wednesday, October 13, who will get their choice of either chocolate chip  or white chocolate chunk with macadamia nuts-- a dozen fresh cookies-- mailed to them. Woo hoo! Hooray for cookies! And books! And followers!

Another very cool follower contest is on Quinn's blog, celebrating 100 followers. Go check it out for a chance to earn a $40 Amazon gift certificate. Also, Gabriella Lessa, Aspiring Writer's World  is sponsoring a blogfest in honor of Women's Fiction month. Did you know it was women's fiction month? Me neither. But we do now, thanks to Gabriella. Join in to connect with awesome women's fiction writers.  And here's one more: Amie Borst  will be giving away a copy of The Iron Bodkin by Amy Allgeyer Cook. Great prize!

46 comments:

  1. Karen, if I don't win the cookies, I hereby offer to buy a couple dozen - just tell me where to send the check. I absolutely love love love chocolate chip cookies.
    Karen

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  2. Good for you Karen! We're kindred spirits, you and I. Making cookies is an addiction of mine as well, so I wish you mucho success in this venture! I'll put a link on my blog for the contest and wish you well.

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  3. mmmmm...cookies :)
    I'm the cookie monster - LOL.
    This gets me one entry.
    I already blogged today, so a link on my blog will have to wait a couple of days.
    I still don't tweet or facebook. Sigh.
    But I am a follower!

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  4. oh Karen the things you will make me do for a free book!
    does ur cookie biz have a website?

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  5. You had me at "chance to win cookies!" (I'll come back later to do a tally, but this puts me at 2 entries... so far!!)

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  6. Joanna, no website, it's not an internet business. I only sell them locally at specific outlets.

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  7. Mmm, cookies! Thanks for the shout out -- I'm going to add your contest to today's blog post!

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  8. Cookies? You have the best day job ever. I love cookies. And writing.

    I left the contest link on my blog. That gives me 5 points! Whoop. I'd love to try some of your cookies.

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  9. Oh wow!!!! Home Baked Cookies!!!! Yum!!

    GOOD LUCK to all those participating - what a fab prize!!!

    Take care
    x

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  10. Cookies! Do you have a website where we can buy the cookies? I would love to order some.

    CD

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  11. I want cookies!~

    I'm a follower, leaving a comment,and adding up my points. +3. I might Twitter later but no guarantees!

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  12. We do have so much in common:)) I didn't know it was women's fiction month--my genre--so I think it would be a perfect time to get an agent--lol :))
    Praying your business exceeds your hopes and dreams!

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  13. Yum! I'm a follower and here's my comment, plus I can add: 3 pts! :)

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  14. Well you can certainly see where the heart of your commentors are...with the cookies. Me too.

    Teresa

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  15. Why didn't you tell us you were a master cookie chef?

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  16. I HEART COOKIES! Especially chocolate chip cookies! What a fab contest, Karen.

    PS - I'd email you my former comment eaten by blogger but I'm not sure I want to resurrect that anger again! :)

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  17. Oh this sounds too delish! count me in. And I'll put you on my sidebar!

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  18. Karen, you have an award at my blog!

    Jai

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  19. Cookies Yummy! Mmmmmm!
    Who can I marry in your family to get the recipe? I'm already married? Um, well yes that's true... ;O)
    This blog post makes me think of one I planned to write on Ty-ping, the martial art of writing, but hubby said it was too off the wall LOL!

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  20. funny I was just telling Jai how she almost made me choke on my cookie.

    you are now 1 follower away from 500; good luck in picking me for the winner of cookies

    here by way of Jai's blog, so that was good timing

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  21. I want to win cookies! But e-mail me with the info and I may want to buy some anyway!

    I get four points: sidebar love, Facebook, follower, and adding.

    Congratulations on being at nearly 500 followers! 499 at this moment. WOW.

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  22. Fabulous! I've done everything you asked, which gives me 5 points. Yay! Huzzah for cookies:)

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  23. Congrats on the inevitable 500! You're almost there!

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  24. A cookie contest - what a delicious idea! I just discovered I can do the follow thing even though I'm not on Blogger, so I'm helping reach that 500 number - it says 500 right now (hey, maybe I'm that 500th follower!).

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  25. If I win, my husband will enjoy them! (I don't eat chocolate. Yes, I know that's weird.)
    I'm a follower!

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  26. This is the best give away. Ever. I'm a commenting follower (+2) and I've tweeted it (+1), but sadly, am not on facebook. Nuts. Because I want cookies! So I have a total of four with the add up bonus. Karen: you are officially awesome.

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  27. Yum cookies! I'm a commenting follower +2. I already have one of your books. :) It's on my tbr pile.....I've got my fingers crossed to win Uncut Diamonds and of course....Cookies....

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  28. I want cookies and the book!!

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  29. Selling cookies does sound almost as fun as writing. So, I get a point for following, a point for commenting and I guess, a point for telling you how many points I get...so I think that earns me: 3.

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  30. Ooooooh, cookie business! Sounds FABULOUS! Everyone loves cookies.

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  31. I also am very fond of chocolate chip cookies, indeed rather too fond of them -- particularly considering that I'm capable of making some very good ones myself, as my waistline attests. As it happened, I blogged about some just the other day, together with random thoughts about cooking and writing (it's at http://www.langfordwriter.com/blog/?p=299 in case anyone's interested).

    And now for a miscellaneous question: Why does everyone do white chocolate and macadamia nuts? Yeah, I get the visual coolness, but really I think dark chocolate is a much better match to macadamia nuts. But then, I think dark chocolate is better with just about anything...

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  32. You must understand my vices, Karen! Books and cookies!!

    Congrats on reaching 500--I just saw--you are so very deserving of that miracle.

    Good luck on your reconstituted cookie business. :o)

    + 2 commenting follower
    + 1 linking up
    + 1 doing the math
    _____
    4

    LOL!

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  33. Karen,

    Great news on reaching the 500 followers. And those cookies do sound wonderful. I love cookies. Curse that Atlantic Ocean!

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  34. Woo hoo! Congrats Karen, you are right on 500 as I write this. And boy - your cookies sound amazing, I'm sure there's magic in them too. ;)) Guess what I'm going to hunt down now?

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  35. Good luck with the cookie business! I follow, comment, facebooked and am adding =4 (I would blog but have a guest tomorrow and know my attention span to well to think I might remember longer than that)

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  36. Thanks for the great links Karen. Cookies, a great contest prize if you ask me. I love homemade cookies! Or Biscuits as I call them.

    I would love to purchase some from you.

    I see you have reached the magic number of 500. Good for you and congratulations.

    Will put your contest on my blog, facebook and twitter.

    Fair play to you!

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  37. omg! Blogger is JUST NOW letting me enter for cookies.... If I don't win, Blogger's getting a nasty msg from me. ;p

    this is great, Karen! love the thought of you + hubs coming up w/all these great ideas. So you're the idea rat? (Dilbert)

    I love cookies, but do keep on writing~ :o) <3

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  38. Congrats on the 502 followers.

    Cookies...hmmmmm.

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  39. Huge grats on your 500+ followers. Well done!

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  40. Congrats on the followers!

    I hope your new cash cow generates what you need, and please do enter me. I'm a follower and a commenter.

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  41. Hey all you cookie lovers out there, this contest is going through the weekend. I'll pick the winner and announce it on Sunday evening. That gives me time to get all the sweetness out of my system before I post my Monday rant.

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  42. You're such a sweetie Karen! Who else gives away cookies??? Love it :)

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  43. Congrats in advance on your 500 followers!

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  44. 500 followers is VERY impressive. Well done.

    XX

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  45. I followed you during your BBQ and now you're talking about cookies! This blog makes me drool (in a good way). Follower, comment, adds up to +3. Hope I win chocolate chip!

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  46. I too followed you during the BBQ, and I'm drooling now with your talk of cookies.

    Selling books is indeed a complicated business- how often we read of authors who were refused only to go on and become bestsellers.

    See you're now at 502 followers! Wow!

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