Over this weekend I participated in an arts festival about 45 minutes from where I live. On the beautiful McKenzie River, a community arts organization hosted a two-day event, and although most of the exhibitors were artists, a few authors hawked their books too. I sat next to my new pal, Bob Welch, a columnist at my local paper and the author of several nonfiction books. The guy was generous and friendly and although he has way more name recognition due to his newspaper column, The Fence My Father Built got into the hands of a few more readers as well.
Writing Tip for Today: If you are pre-published, you may still not know about book signings with no attendees or events where you find yourself sitting next to a well-known author, who makes bank while you’re selling two and a half books in 5 hours. These stories are common–and about as welcome as a long difficult labor in childbirth. I don’t like slow events any better than other authors, but I’ve learned to see the good in them: I got my book into the hands of readers who probably wouldn’t know about my novel any other way. And that’s how we all build a readership, really. Book by book. Word by word. Picture your readers each telling two more readers, and so on. I’m looking forward to Christmas book sales, but meanwhile I’ll savor the beautiful fall day up the McKenzie River, where I spent a few hours chatting with my new pal, Bob Welch.