Writers Engaging Readers: Shall We Dance?

Fred Astaire dancing with readersRecently I’ve had several different opportunities to get out and meet readers to talk about writing and publishing. Doing this was a good reminder of something I learned quite a while back: that the best way to sell books is by not selling.

What the heck does that mean? Let me explain.

Years ago, I was at a huge book festival. My table abutted the table of a man who’d written a non-fiction book about creating and maintaining quality relationships. A worthy topic, to be sure. However, this poor man was almost rabid in his sales efforts. If anyone got within five feet of his table or, god forbid, made eye contact, he was out from behind his table, book in hand, shoving it in their faces, talking a blue streak about the book and the ways it could benefit them. You could see the expressions in the readers’ faces change from mild curiosity to abject fear. As soon as the man broke his spiel to take a breath, they were pulling away, stammering excuses, almost running from the area. Then the man would sulk back behind his table, impatiently waiting for his next victim. Continue reading “Writers Engaging Readers: Shall We Dance?”

Stop Me and Buy One!

Coming up with innovative ways to sell your books is a full-time job. I often resolve to give up my ludicrous marketing attempts and just get on with writing more books, but when my brain is having a day off from working on the latest WIP, I find it helps to give it something useful to do. Trying out new, and quite frankly ridiculous, ventures seems to do the trick.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to go on holiday. Hubby and I were celebrating an important event – I forget what it was now – which involved a trip to the Canary Islands. If ever there was an opportunity to sell some books, it’s going on a trip somewhere, where people are going to be looking out for something to read. So, I had a plan of action of what to do before I travelled abroad. Here is my madcap advice if you are bold enough, brazen enough and probably stupid enough, along with my results. Before you leave, you will need: Continue reading “Stop Me and Buy One!”

Taking it to the Streets

Photo by Lin Robinson

Five days a week I walk through empty, walled streets from my house in Tijuana to a coffee shop where I can drink bottomless coffee and write with no goddam Internet. Except on Fridays. On Fridays the walk is through a teeming shopping district, a market village that sprawls over eight square blocks. Call it a sobruelas, tianguis, flea market, jumble sale, or whatever, it is for a half a day one of the hottest places to buy and sell in the third largest city in Mexico. Continue reading “Taking it to the Streets”