Traditionally published or Indie? Either way, it all comes down to one.
I know you're thinking I'm going to write about how marketing efforts rest on the shoulders of the author regardless of how he or she is published. Well, today you would be wrong.
Today, I'm talking about you, the reader
Authors have different kinds of events available to them to meet readers and promote their books. The typical places authors flock to are events at public libraries, readings at bookstores and other organizations, and book groups. Local street fairs, farmers markets, and horse shows are other events, even if a bit non-traditional.
Any of these can be bruising experiences. Not every event is standing room only and echoing crickets' chirps can be distracting. At a farmers' market, folks may be more interested in scoring their organic arugula than buying a recently released mystery.
Yet, it takes a single encounter to make an otherwise lackluster event shine.
- A passerby who stops in her tracks when she spies the book cover and exclaims to her friend, "Oh my Gawd! I just finished that book. You have to read it."
- The schlumpy gentleman who chats to kill time waiting for his wife turns out to be the editor of a local paper and decides to run an article inspired by the chance conversation.
- The mother who introduces her shy daughter with the words, "All she does is write, and I want her to keep writing."
- The group of friends who buys one book among them to share, and then stays in contact.
- The woman who buys the book as gifts for her extended family.
- The man who discusses current events and explores what books deepen our understanding of them. Then he extends an invitation to speak to his civic group.
- The son who talks about his father's immigration to the States and the sacrifices made in providing for his family. No fiction can top that truth.
Sure, selling books is a focus for many of these events. But it's not an end in itself. I doubt any of these people know how important their conversations were to me on those days.
But these brief encounters put a bit more power in my step.
So, to each individual I have met and will meet along the way, I say, "Thank you."