The M word. That thing we authors must do if we want to sell any of our books.
My original plan for selling thousands of copies of Farm Girl
was to get Costco to buy a whole bunch from WiDo, and I would do
signings at the many local warehouses in Utah. My family knows most of the warehouse managers. One in particular
loved my book and said, "I can see it on our tables." So could I. So
There's a self-published author in
my area named Mike Ramsdell who wrote a book called Train to Potevka. In 2007, he got it into one of the local Costco warehouses and in less than a
year had sold over 100,000 copies while doing signings at Costco stores in the
Western states. Now granted, Farm Girl isn't a memoir about a
U.S. spy in Russia, but I figured if we did one-tenth of his
sales, that would be decent.
Sometimes dreams do NOT come true. That can be a good thing. If it had gone according to plan, I would never
have done the Nebraska book tour with my mom. Which turned out to be one
of her dreams come true. Look how happy she is. At the age of 94, she went on a book tour across her home state of Nebraska.
WiDo would not have gotten Farm Girl
in independent bookstores from Vermont to California, because who needs little orders from little bookstores when you have Costco?
And the WiDo sales guy wouldn't have made friends and
developed relationships with booksellers who are still buying WiDo books
and not just Farm Girl.
I wouldn't have
gone after newspaper reviews because who needs reviews when you have Costco, right? I
would never have started blogging or done anything online, because who
needs social media when you have Costco? I would never have realized
the need for an alternative online bookstore-- something cozy,
exclusive, supportive to authors with generous profit margins for them. Who needs Celery Tree when you have Costco?
I don't like failure. It makes me depressed, angry, sometimes
bitter, and always craving something with chocolate, butter and sugar,
maybe with some peanut butter and/or walnuts thrown in for good measure.
But once I get over all that and calm down, I'm thankful for the
lessons of failure.
When marketing books, failure is important to show what works and what doesn't. Don't hate failure, don't hate marketing. It's all part of the game of selling books.
(This post was taken from a series I on planning a successful book tour that appeared on the Celery Tree blog.)
"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