Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Magic Lever

While we writers like to portray ourselves as servants to the Muse, as mortal scribes channeling Inspiration, we gotta pay the rent and that means selling books. That and riding herd on the day job. Every established writer gets hit with the question: How do I market my book? Which is another way of asking, How do I make money in this writing gig?

The easy answer, Sell lots of books. Be on notice that if I had my hand on the magic-selling-books-lever, you can be sure that I wouldn't let you put your toner-stained mitts on it. So how to sell books? What helps is getting your name out in public. Let me share my experience of what happens when you don't. Last year I cut back on my touring schedule, appearing only around the Denver area. However, I did keep tabs with my fellow writers working the Bard's Tower booth, formerly the WordFire booth, as they dragged the setup from comic con to comic con and greeted metric tons of people. Make no mistake, working the booth is an effort. Set up and tear down is a real pain, and holding court on the exhibition floor keeps you on your feet for a solid twelve hours. The upside is that you're meeting new readers and occasionally, even fans. Paying for travel and meals takes a bite out of your wallet and even if you sell out stock, which I've done, you won't come close to covering your costs. Even so, I missed the excitement of the shows, the comradery of hanging out with this gang of misfits, and the chance to see a new city. But more importantly, a consequence of not touring was a downturn in my royalties. Not good.

This year I signed up for as many gigs with the Bard's Tower as I could fit into my schedule. Though I haven't appeared in many shows, what I've seen is a lot more traffic to my Facebook book pages and more engagement in Twitter. We'll see if that translates into an uptick in royalties. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Rick Blechta said...

Many thanks for that hint (lead? tip?), Mario!