Why Freeze Your Buns Off on a Saturday?

Yesterday, I was among many other local authors at Lane County fairgrounds for the annual Author’s Faire. Part Local Author Spotlight, part Lane Library League fundraiser, I was privileged to sit with other authors and freeze my patootie off for seven straight hours. All for the sale of eleven books–less the 25% for the fundraiser. I think that works out to around $1.50 per hour.

Writing Tip for Today: If you volunteer for a good cause, wear your long johns. Seriously, why do I do these things? Certainly, I don’t participate for the money. And the prestige isn’t even that good–among our colorful local authors is a guy named Frog who sells joke books. But here’s the tip: every writer should be willing to make sacrifices in order to build his/her platform. Here’s what was in it for me, besides the promise to bring hand warmers next year:

  • It’s Who You Know. During the event, I got the names of at least 3 speaking/writing/book event contact persons for future events. I now have names to solicit speaking engagements or other book-related events.
  • Give Potential Readers Something to Walk Away With. Not everyone who stopped actually purchased a book. I handed out bookmarks and business cards to those expressing an interest in writing. Since I teach writing, this was a good thing.
  • Expand Your Network. I sat next to authors I only knew by name and by the end of the day, had begun friendships or at least pleasant acquaintances. It’s a good idea to be friendly with other authors, and not judgmental or snobby. You never know when another writer will be able to help you.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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