This weekend saw my inaugural attempt at physically selling my wares, and it went well… I think. Obviously, never doing anything like this before meant that I had no expectations of how much I would actually sell and so I can’t really be disappointed. I shifted 20 units over the weekend, and I guess that doesn’t sound like much but there’s some reasons for why that can’t be left at my door.
The first excuse is that it was a Christmas gift fair. It was full of singing Father Christmas’s, novelty chocolates and a balloon guy. All in all, it wasn’t the best place to sell books. Secondly, it was really poorly attended due to the organiser omitting to put up any signs outside of the venue.
However, despite the negatives, I really enjoyed it and, like I said, I am actually happy with what I sold. I covered costs, I spread the word and made more money than I would have if I’d stayed at home. It’s given me the bug for physical selling. I love talking to people and having a laugh, it’s something that comes naturally to me and by doing this type of show I can really lay it on.
There was a string of positives that came out of the weekend as well. Our stall was organised by the Writer’s Room, a collective of writers who have been marshalled by Elisabeth Marrion. This was the first time I’ve met any of them and it was fantastic to meet, in person, other writers in the same boat as me.
We shared ideas, as self-publishing carries no rules and there’s literally thousands of ways to skin a cat, and we carried each other through the quieter times with a bit of banter. It was great to meet them and some of the information I received was worth the trip alone.
So far, I’ve concentrated my time with online distribution routes and I’m now ready to take on the might of the physical world. Bookshops, libraries, seminars, talks, book clubs, writer groups, local press, national distribution, more shows, school fetes, in fact, you name it and the women I was with at the weekend have done it. It was great, so watch out in the near future for more tales of me getting out there.
Until next time…
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