I didn’t go into the author event with my eyes closed, expecting unrealistic results. I knew how things could go.
As some might know, a small, chapbook-style collection of my work, titled “A Fable of Freedom and Other Stories,” was published.
I often tell members of my group The Bard’s Corner Writer’s Group that a writer’s work doesn’t end when they type “The End;” that’s when the work begins. And it’s true.
If publication is the goal, there’s so much work to be done once the manuscript is finished that I couldn’t begin to describe it without going over my self-imposed word limit. Suffice it to say promoting sales is part of the work involved with published novels or short story collections.
That means participating in readings and author events, like the one I took part in this past weekend in Tompkinsville called Old Mulkey Writers in the Park.
The thing is, as the author of a book that is non-traditionally published, I do realize many events that require the writer to purchase booth space can be a coin toss. The author must decide if the potential profit will justify the cost of participation. Many times the answer is no.
In this case, the cost was only a $5 registration fee and the gas money it took to drive to Tompkinsville. I decided this was a great opportunity.
Why? Did I expect the 35 or so copies of my book to be snatched up in a heartbeat? Did I count on spending most of the day directing the throng of fans to the Amazon or Barnes & Noble website to buy my book because I sold out of the copies I brought?
In fact, I told my sweetie, Rebecca, I’d be happy if I sold one copy. And that wasn’t to be pessimistic. It simply came down to this: I realized this event would be a low-cost way of getting my feet wet to the experience. If I sold anything, I would consider that icing on the cake.
This attitude helped set me up for success. And I felt I did succeed.
I had three sales, one being in the form of an exchange with another author. Meeting fellow authors was nice. In fact, the author I exchanged books with — an Indiana resident named Pat Paxton — was so personable I felt I’d known him for years. Rebecca and I friended him on Facebook before the day was over.
On top of that, Rebecca and I got to explore an historic site we’d never been to.
So, all in all, I consider the experience a resounding success: book sales, new friends and tourist time with my sweetie.
No, I didn’t go into the event with my eyes closed. They were wide open, and I am thankful for what I saw.