Thursday, January 12, 2012

Selling It

Writing a book is one thing, but selling it is another. People think nothing of telling you in an offhand sort of way that they want to buy the book, but when it comes round to paying for it, lots of them don't come through. I can appreciate now how all my friends with books have felt when I didn't leap instantly to the fore with check in hand and buy the book. And I can also appreciate those who actually follow through! A belated apology to those whose books I haven't bought, and thanks to those who have sent their checks.
This isn't the piece of cake I assumed it would be when I had a list of 50 promised pre-ordered copies. Now I hope that I get the requisite 30 to earn my free copies of the book to send to reviewers and give to libraries and family members.
And no readings lined up, though I am still working on nailing down the details for that radio interview on Bipolar Radio!


marly youmans said...

Good reminder!

Mine is lying around... Shall do. Nothing about book sales is easy unless you are a lead book with a major publisher. That is the truth, I fear.

Robbi said...

I can appreciate what you're saying now. However, this is not always the case. I heard of a person I used to be friendly with who self published her memoir and has hit it really big. She goes on talk shows, has offers of all kinds, and is generally thriving and even making money. Of course, memoir is not poetry.

marly youmans said...

Yep, and I will bet she did a great deal to get where she is... and that many people have another story. There's a lot of sweat and a lot of luck needed.

I think one needs to know how hard it is so as to tilt properly. That is, to balance expectation and knowledge and attempt to do the best for the book that can be done.

Lots of major places have dropped poetry lines because they only sold between one and three hundred books (sometimes less, no doubt.) To sell 50 copies at the start of a chapbook run would be a very good beginning.

marly youmans said...

Just to put the selling thing into comic perspective: