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.

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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