Promoting a book takes work, determination, and a willingness to drive a lot of hours in order to attend events and meet new readers. I don’t regret a moment of time I spend setting up and attending book signings.
I know some of my author friends have told me they absolutely hate book signings. They are uncomfortable engaging complete strangers to pitch their books. I had never considered myself a salesperson until I met Keith.
While working together in my prison classroom, he told me I have great business sense. When I disagreed, he told me, “You are a great salesperson. Think about it: None of your students are really wanting to learn new concepts, but look at them–they are all doing it. You stand in front of your class and ‘sell’ the product of education. You are great at it.” Surveying my classroom, he was right. My students all listened to my presentation and then did their work, and I even got to watch light bulbs come on for them as they learned new material.
I had never looked at it that way before, but he was right. Being a public school teacher has definitely helped me get over any hesitation when talking to strangers. After all, what better topic do I have to talk about than the books I’ve put my heart and soul into to write?
I meet people who are supportive, and sometimes I meet people who are downright rude. Not everyone is receptive but, most of the time, if I can talk with them for a few minutes, they at least have a tiny corner of their universe lifted. I don’t have to sell books to every person I talk with. Sometimes bringing awareness, making someone reconsider a knee-jerk misconception, that is what my book events are all about. In reality, that’s why I write books in the first place.
Whatever it is you feel passionate about, please don’t let it sit under that proverbial bushel basket. Get it out there. Make the effort and put in the work. Don’t Give Up! (To quote my Muppet friends.)