Thursday, September 22, 2005

Is this really working?

With gas prices through the roof and the cost of everything going up, except of course, my royalty checks, I have to do a little figuring to see if what I'm putting into my marketing plan is actually paying off.

I like to think there are bigger payouts than just monetary gain. Have I reached a new reader? Has my writing touched a heart for the Kingdom of God? Will someone take what I've written apply it to their lives, and become a better person because of it?

Okay. If I take all that into account, a book signing or author event in another community or another county or even another state always reaps some kind of dividend. But my car doesn't run on good intentions. My husband's paycheck will only go so far in marketing my books. What do I do in the meantime?

Two weeks ago I sent announcements to everyone on my mailing list concerning the release of my latest novel, A Tender Reed, and the subsequent author discussion/book signing at my local library. Ten people showed up and I sold five books. Not a bad night since I live close by and the travel cost was nearly practically nonexistent. But haven't I made any fans around here? Most of them know me on a first name basis by now. Our kids went to school together. They call me up and tell me how much they loved my last book. So where were they the other night? I know we're all terribly busy, but hey, I'm of the mindset that if you really want to do something, you'll find the means by which to do it.

So I'm kind of bummed on the whole concept of book signings right now. In the grand scheme of things, they probably don't work. For the amount of work and time involved, the rewards do not justify the effort. But my publisher and my distributors seem to put a lot of stock in them, so I must keep plugging away. I just wish there was an easier, more rewarding way to let the world know I wrote this really great book they might enjoy if they'd just slow down long enough to read it.

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