Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sometimes I Need to Take my Own Advice

On Saturday, I attended a "Meet The Local Authors Book Fair" at the Castro Valley Library. It was probably my first official public appearance as an author. Yes, I sold some books and no, I am not ready to retire on my laurels. While I won't get rich off my royalties from this affair, the Book Fair was a success on a number of levels. I got out of my comfort zone and met a lot of other writers, readers, and I talked about my book in terms of making it interesting. I also have a key phrase that seems to attract people.

"The series is a detective mystery and adventure circa 1930s."

That single line seemed to interest the most people. One young reader asked if I was alive then. No, I wasn't.

My intention is to look into activities that other libraries in the area are up to and see where I can be of assistance, and, of course, get myself out in front of readers. That is the first piece of advice I need to follow.

I have an event on July 18, it is a book signing. I need to publicize it. Partly I need to do it on the internet, and partly I need to find local media that will share the information. While the Book Shop in Hayward will use its usual contacts, I need to do my own advertising. I need to develop my own set of contacts and get the word out. In doing this, I also discovered that helping small local bookstores get additional business is also good for me.  That is the second piece of advice I need to follow.

While I was at the local book fair, I noticed a number of writers who had a single book. At first I was puzzled, but then I noticed that for them the book was part of their other career. They were using the book fair and their book as an additional means to a secondary goal. It was brilliant, they may or may not write another book, but it didn't matter they were using a public forum to shine a light on who they were. An excellent idea.

But there was a writer who was following that particular process, but I do not believe that was the author's desire. When I returned home I took business cards that I had accumulated and proceeded to add people to my Google Circles. A piece of advice I am following, increase my network. I also googled the various authors to see what they were doing. This one author had achieved a certain amount of recognition, but it seemed to have stalled, and I was curious as to why, and after only a little research I discovered what I believe the problem is. And that leads me to my third piece of advice. Write! The author seemed to have stopped writing.

So my third piece of advice, which I do follow, but I need to do it more, Write. I repeated the advice I was given on a facebook response and I repeat it here. "If you want to sell more books, write more books". I was recently impressed by the upcoming releases of James Patterson, he clearly takes this mantra to heart.

Gene Poschman