I have been delivering books to subjects of Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot for two and half months. At this writing, I have nine left to deliver. I suppose I could have saved myself a lot of money. None of them remembered that the release form they signed granting me permission to publish their stories entitled them to a free book. One man commented how kind I was to give him a copy. I didn’t deserve that compliment and reminded him that it was a debt.
My publisher’s marketing department is ahead of me in the marketing marathon. They are calling bookstores and coffee shops trying to set up events for me to sell books. I asked them to slow the pace. I want to satisfy my debt before I sell books at events. On the heels of that request, I scheduled three churches and three events; so much for a slower pace and accomplishing one goal at a time. Then hurricane Isaac blew through town disrupting my plans.
A week of no electricity, phone service and internet withdrawals later, I started rescheduling. Two churches rescheduled for October. One declined indefinitely. I was disappointed by the loss, until I received an invitation to address a joint book club meeting. Book clubs are guaranteed sales; churches are iffy. For a while, it appeared the hurricane also cost me an opportunity to sell books at an international woman’s conference in Houston – another disappointment. Until the speaker, who had invited me to put books on her product table, signed a consignment deal to sell them for me.
While I was signing the consignment deal, my cell phone rang. Sabrina wanted to know where she could find my book. Her husband had already brought twelve books to the Gideon’s International Conference in Dallas, and they wanted to share more books. I met Sabrina and her husband at a garage – where their tire was being replaced – thinking they wanted one or two books. They wanted ten books. I only had seven. Wish I’d left the house with more books that morning.
Three times this week, I’ve been asked, “Where can I find your book?” The average reader is unaware of the massive changes in the publishing industry and has misconceptions about authors. People think I am rich, and my book is in bookstores. The truth is: few authors are rich and in in most cases the author must create a demand before a bookstore will risk stocking his or her book. An author’s hope is that word of mouth will create a demand for the book compelling bookstores to stock the book. Until then, most sales by new authors are done at book events, speaking engagements and via internet websites.
If you are interested in Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot, check my schedule at teenalmyers.com and purchase a copy from me for $15 or visit Tate Publishing’s website to purchase a copy for $16.99. If you would like to make it easy for future purchasers, go to your local bookstore and order a copy. IF enough people do that, bookstores will be happy to put them on the shelf.