Photo by Matias North on Unsplash


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The weatherman had said 70’s. I looked at the overcast sky and shivered, felt more like 50’s. I walked to my shared table on Exhibitors Row at the Louisiana Book Festival thankful I had brought my coat. Rebecca had already discovered anything light would fly off the table. Copies of Amy Signs were placed strategically on the table pinning down marketing material. I proceeded to do the same with Finding Faith.

My husband left in pursuit of hot chocolate. Despite our strategically placed books, our post cards, flyers, and business cards managed to escape.

“Yours,” I said to Rebecca. She retrieved the escapee.

A post card floated off the table. “Yours,” said Rebecca.

Then her large poster leaped from the table and slapped a woman in the face as she walked by our table. We added more books to the table to keep the poster from attacking another potential customer. 

An hour had elapsed since my husband left. I pulled my cell phone from my coat pocket. He couldn’t find hot chocolate, so he embarked on another pursuit. He was in the tent talking to vendors about my book.

“If you are going to do that come get some marketing material to leave with them.”

He returned, took some cards and left. Rebecca grabbed some of her cards to pass out on her way to the bathroom.

While chatting with Walt, Rebecca’s husband, I saw the sun peek through the clouds. I pointed to the sun.

“Look it feels a little warmer.”

“I’m glad you’re feeling it,” said Walt.

I tested the batteries in my wireless microphone and attached it to my camera, so I could film people who had books about faith and waited for Rod to return. By noon, the wind had driven the grey clouds away. We sat under a crystal blue sky, dotted with fluffy white clouds and slightly warmer temperatures. The day would have been perfect if not for the wind. Rod returned, and I left him in charge while I filmed authors.

First stop, Mary’s Christmas, a full color children’s book. I knew the author, so she was glad to accommodate the camera. Deborah who I had filmed at a writer’s conference was also happy to talk about her latest release. The next stop was not so cooperative. Vicki thought I wanted to sell her advertising. When she realized I wanted to help her gain exposure for her book, we had a lengthy conversation about the difficulties of marketing. The author of One Moment with God and a book about surviving divorce from a Christian perspective concluded my quest. I returned to my table to learn my husband had sold a book.

By 3 p.m. I was ready to leave. Rod had to be up early for work and the crowds had thinned. We helped Rebecca move the table into the sun and left for a Mexican dinner before returning to New Orleans.

The sales that day were sparse, but I consider one sale a successful day, and I sold more than one.  Selling one book is more than many who dream of being an author but abandon or never embark on the long journey filled with disappointments and rewards.

My experiences in marketing taught me two things. First, speaking to groups yields the most sales, usually 10% of the audience, which explains the attitude of traditional publishers who look for authors with large followings. The best way to acquire a following is through social media and speaking engagements. Second, the problem with independent publishing is being independent. Instead of focusing on writing the authors time is consumed doing all of the work a traditional publishing house uses a team to do.


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