Now that August 2014 is history, I spent time this week reviewing and discovered what a great month it was for me!
As most writers are painfully aware, marketing your work is not as fun as writing is. In today’s world, even those published by big name houses, backed by PR teams, and marketing specialists, find themselves going out into the world, selling their books. For those of us with smaller houses, the marketing becomes even more focused on the writer.
I discovered last year when The Easter Egg Murder was released that I had a built-in following I had never realized. Among other activities I pursue, I’ve been an amateur radio operator for almost ten years. At least that’s how long I’ve had my license. Back in high school (and I’m not saying how far back that goes!) I was secretary of the Highland High School Amateur Radio Club. I wasn’t licensed then, and I didn’t need to be. The only reason for my membership and participation in that group was my boyfriend at the time. He was president of the club and spent most lunch hours during the week at the club’s radio shack, tinkering with the ham equipment. I wanted to spend my lunch hour with him, ergo I became a member of the club.
Many, many years later, I married that boyfriend, and he was still a ham. Eventually I succumbed to his pleas that I get my license, too, and in August 2005, I passed my Technician’s exam and became a licensed amateur radio operator. Little did I know, some of my biggest fans for The Easter Egg Murder would come from the ranks of other ham radio operators.
In August 2014, the annual Duke City Hamfest came to Albuquerque. I brought along my books, and before I knew it had sold 16 over that weekend.Then two weeks later I got a last-minute chance to have a table at the ABQ Home Expo that periodically appears at the NM State Fairgrounds. During that two-day period, I sold 36 books. The next weekend we were off to Alamogordo, NM for that club’s annual Hamfest. Once again, amidst the radios, cables, resistors, and other electronic paraphernalia, my book found eager buyers. That day I sold 11.
The lesson I pass on to interested writers is look beyond the traditional venues for selling your books. You may find that an event where you are the only writer gives you added interest, and captures the attention of the attendees. When you set up among things like plumbing supplies, carpentry tools, and camping equipment, the book lovers in the group will find you, and be pleased to buy your book. Hey, it’s worth a try.