Selling Your Soul, but Making A Profit!

It's all about who you know, isn't it? This past weekend I had a great time at the Villa Park Library's Author Showcase. There were more authors in attendance (about 12-15 of us) than there were audience members, but it was still a really good time. The weather was iffy--freezing with pellets of spitting rain, then almost too warm for the tights and boots I'd worn. We all got to give a five minutes spiel on ourselves, our books, our writing process. Alrighty then. That pretty much killed the hour. The ranges of experience and age in the writers was phenomenal--a kid right out of college to a great grandmother who had spoken before Congress on the landmark special education law PL94-142. I'm an education geek so that last one was pretty cool to me. There were self-published authors, those of us with indie labels, and one mass market author who actually made her living writing four books a year for Harlequin.

We talked, we exchanged business cards and ideas. We discussed the struggle of marketing. You fell a lot of times like you're standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon shouting, "Buy my book!" into the abyss. You feel like no one's listening. I post on FB, I try and Tweet (I admit I stink at it), I attend conventions and dream of book signings in one of the few remaining book stores in the area.

I sold a couple of books (mostly to people I knew, but that's alright) made a couple of really good contacts and already have something else lined up for February. I suppose the best piece of wisdom to come from this experience was to just keep plugging away. Keep putting yourself out there even when it seems useless and you really don't want to smile anymore, or it feels impossible to distill two hundred and eighty five pages into an elevator pitch. We never know what will sing with the readers. We never know what will take off and leave us breathlessly behind. Or what will simply inspire one reader to email you and let you know how much they liked what you've created.

I never wanted to be the next JK Rowling anyway. I'd be perfectly happy to be Mercedes Lackey--well set enough to pay the bills, but I can still go to the grocery store.


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