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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

I’m exhausted after the Wild Deadwood Reads event! Three days being with other writers is great fun, but a day of alternating sitting and standing (mostly standing) for an entire day drained me physically. I sold seven books which was a poor showing compared to the other authors.

The best part of the event was all the learning I did. I taught a session about self-editing which went very well. The other speakers (with the exception of one presentation) were excellent. I was glad I got to hear all the excellent speakers, except for one who was…gross.

On Saturday, 90 or so authors of all genres gathered in a ballroom and offered our books to those who came to visit the event. Deadwood is a tourist stop so lots of folks from all over the country stopped by. I shared a table with a friend and our first questions were, “Where are you from? What kind of books do you read?” That got the conversations started. I learned a lot from my tablemate about selling: the more you talk, the more books you sell. She’s a very nice person who has the gift of gab and can talk to anyone about anything. That trait benefitted her greatly in sales.

Sales is not something I ever thought I’d have to do. I hate asking people to buy stuff from me. After publishing books, though, I had to. I read articles about marketing and being a good salesperson. You’re providing something of value to a customer, not forcing something on them. I understand what they’re saying but talking on and on about myself and my books is way out of my comfort zone, someplace they say you need to go to become stronger.

Watching my friend’s books being carried away motivated me to copy her technique. I started talking way more to customers who came close. I told them in detail about my books and the awards I’d received on them. More customers stayed longer and picked them up to read the back. I began to sell more. That was encouraging. If I’d started doing that sooner, I might have sold a bunch more.

I have no head for business, but I’m willing to put in the work and learn. Someday I may get the hang of being a self-published author and being a saleswoman. I just hope I don’t go broke before then.

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