Today I completed a task that I had set for myself a few weeks ago - one that I had some reservations that I would actually achieve.
I have gotten 100 copies of "The Hambledown Dream" into bookstores.
From as far away as Sale in Eastern Victoria to a clutch of stores here in Adelaide - I have spent the past few weeks working the phones, the email account, the pavement and the car in an endeavor to bring "The Hambledown Dream" to as many people (...well 100 of them at least) as possible. I have spent countless hours talking with store managers over the phone and via email, trying to sell myself and my novel and I have dealt with some really nice people...also some fairly ambivalent people.
There are two things I have come to realize about selling a book - it is bloody hard work and I HATE Stephanie Meyer.
I am not a natural sales person - far from it. My primary vocation is as a Nurse and I don't do rehearsed lines at all well. I deal in hard facts not products. I have found it extremely hard to "sell" myself and my book in each of the stores I have gone into - in some cases I have left book stores without success at all. And I have felt pretty deflated. All the people who have read The Hambledown Dream have told me they loved it but in and of itself that is not enough. Word of mouth in and of itself is good but even that isn't always enough.
I have recounted in previous posts my experiences with trying to crack the nut that is the mainstream media. That nut has been virtually impossible to crack and that is starting to get me down too. Because without the ability to speak to a larger mainstream audience - who don't frequent the Internet - it is going to be difficult to reach a larger audience for the book.
I'm sitting here now having just added the last stores to the tracking sheet my publisher and I have set up thinking about my next move. I was so relieved this morning after I signed off on the last consignment agreement that would get my book onto shelves at an Adelaide Hills book seller (see my FB Author Page for details). But that relief was short lived because now I have to wait and see if they are going to sell. And I can't sit idle and just hope that is going to magically happen. Yet I have no budget for any form of advertising in anything mainstream like the newspaper. Facebook can get you so far, as can Twitter and any one of a number of other online portals that offer a free form method of "advertising".
Stephanie Meyer is saturated throughout every bookstore I've been into these past few weeks. She has a massive marketing machine behind her which has facilitated a BABILLION sales of her works. From where I stand it's like looking at Everest. How can I compete with that??
Successes are short lived. Writing the book was just the beginning. I sit here, less sure of myself now than when I was when I first began to write the novel that I tried for so long to write.
I don't really hate Stephanie Meyer...although the last good vampire flick I saw was Lost Boys...