That has been my goal since signing the contract with Anaphora Literary Press. To sell 1,000 books. I have some really great friends who all went out and bought it on Amazon, but I figure at best I may have sold 50. (I have one really good friend who had his delivered yesterday and posted a picture of my book, my PASSION, under a table leg on Facebook with a caption "Finally got my table fixed" Still laughing Kris) I could go on to Amazon and check, but I figure 50 is a realistic estimate. I've had a few friends at work buy some copies from me, and that always feels weird taking money in person from them, but they do count toward the 1000 tally.
The friends who bought them on Amazon are all getting them in the mail this or next week. I've been apprehensive about getting feedback. It actually makes me laugh when I think about it. Part of me wants them to put their entire lives on hold, do nothing but sit down and read my book, just so I can hear what they think. Part of me is worried about them not liking it and would rather nobody ever brings it up. Part of me is nervous because I'm putting myself out there. Part of me would rather only strangers would read it, but the only books I've sold is to family and friends.
This has been one weird roller-coaster of emotions the past few weeks.
Back to 1,000. That is a pretty lofty goal. I've set it high, but if I really want to be a writer then I need to set the goal high. The publisher doesn't really do much marketing, she goes to book fairs and stuff, but not to much from what I can tell. Unfortunately, I don't know the first thing about marketing a book. (Maybe I should have done some research, I did read Platform by Michael Hyatt which was really good but a lot of his suggestions aren't available to me)
But I do have a plan.
First, I contacted Sarah Morgan at the Lex and Terry Morning Radio Show. They are a syndicated show that used to be on in Augusta. I still get to listen to them on their app, and have been a faithful listener since I've lived in Augusta. Their morning show makes a quick few appearances in the book, since the second half takes place in Augusta, so I emailed her asking if she would like a copy. She responded in ten minutes with the studio address. In her response she seemed to think I wanted to get the book to Lex and Terry, but really she was my target. She has talked a lot on her podcast how much she likes to read, and has over 30,000 followers on Twitter. So, I sent the book with a note pointing out what pages their show is on, and thanking her. To be honest, I'm going to need a little luck with her. But if she reads it, and she likes it, well that would be pretty cool. To be more honest, the fact that I emailed back and forth with her yesterday was almost cool enough. I've met plenty of famous people, had some good personal conversations with some famous golfers, but emailing back and forth with Sarah from the Lex and Terry Show was pretty damn cool. I hope she reads the book.
I also sent a free copy to a high school friend, Laura. She is a movie producer. When I messaged her she had just finished up at Sundance, was back in San Francisco, she also lives in New York, but is traveling to Amsterdam for a new movie. I've known Laura since middle school, and to be honest I hope she reads it and enjoys it. I'm not looking for a social media shout out with her. With Laura, I sent it to her because she is a producer. And she's cool, has always been cool, is super creative, and I'd love to hear what she thinks.
I'm still debating this one, but there is a local radio personality, Austin Rhodes, in Augusta that I'm pretty confident would take a copy and hopefully promote it. He's been very supportive of law enforcement, (that's what I do in my real job for the one person that reads this that doesn't know me) and I think that I could use that to at least get him to read it. I've met him a few times, and I think he would mention it on Facebook or on the radio for me. I'm a little hesitant, he can be controversial, but just writing about him makes me want to send him one.
And lastly, I plan to talk to the owner of the bookstore in downtown Augusta when I get off weekends and hopefully he and I can come to an agreement and he will sell some from his store. And I'll sit in front of his store a few Saturdays doing a "signing." This was the one thing the publisher told me to do.
The hard truth is I would pretty much do just about anything to sell a book. I'd drive three hundred miles to sell five. I'd come talk to just about any book club, writers group, whatever if they all read the book.
I get nervous but I remind myself every day that writing is art, and art is subjective.
And the real hard truth is, if the book is good, I should be able to sell 1,000.
I guess I'll start hearing if people liked it soon.
At least I know it's stopped Kris' table from being wobbly.