A year ago Who Is Olivia Green had been out for a few months and I worked for CBS Interactive during Masters Week. And, a year ago I wrote a blog post about how I was working for professional marketers for CBS, and I never once brought up my book or tried to sell my writing.
This year I decided I needed to change that, and I did.
Augusta couldn't survive without the Masters Tournament. It's an unbelievably crazy week in this city. More residents do what I do and use vacation to work an extra job just for that week. A friend approached me last year because he couldn't work anymore and offered me to take his place for CBS. I jumped on the chance for a few reasons.
They pay $25 an hour to drive them to and from the Augusta Airport and to and from the houses they rent and the Augusta National, where the tournament is held. Last year in 8 days I worked 128 hours. While that sounds crazy, and it is, a lot of those hours are napping in the car, napping in the hospitality house, hanging out with the other drivers, and eating dinner with the other drivers. Oh, the majority of those dinners were prepared by a chef that had been brought in just for the week. CBS also tipped us $1200 so the total money I made was just over $4400. And they let the drivers split up the open alcohol and wine at the end of the week. I took home 8 or 9 twelve packs of beer, some open liquor bottles, and probably 10 bottles of wine last year.
Sounds like a pretty good gig, right?
It was, and my only regret was that I didn't give out a few free books last year.
So I was all sorts of amped up to work this year, especially with my new years resolution that I needed to sell some books. And the week started out awesome. One of the ladies in marketing for CBS and kind of our boss; she coordinates all the flights, who is staying in which house, the meals and stuff, and I were unpacking liquor and just talking. She asked me how the year had gone since I had seen her last and I didn't hesitate. I told her all about the book and told her I was going to get her a copy if she wanted one. She said she did.
So it was a great start to the week and I was proud of myself.
Then the week slowly turned to crap.
The storms messed up tons of flights, I had to drive to Atlanta twice, the hours were kind of cut back, I ended up with 110, there was a different chef and the food didn't seem as good, and the overall mood was different.
Yep, I just complained about a chef on my blog. Kill me now.
Anyway, I had resolved that I wasn't going to go back next year. I was in a bad mood by Friday and still had 3 days to go. To be honest, I was missing Christina and Laney, I give up my time with her that week, and didn't feel like the money was worth the time away from the family.
Once I started resolving that I wasn't coming back I was second guessing giving out a few books. My initial plan was to give them out the last day so they had something to read on the plane. Why should I give out some books to people I never planned to see again?
You can see where this is going, I'm sure.
But, I kept reminding myself that I needed to work on selling, to become a hustler so I gave two books to the two ladies that work with us all week. They both work for CBS marketing and one of them lives in New York City. I was a bit nervous, but just did it. What's the worst that can happen, right?
Then, they surprised us by giving us our tip at the end of the week in cash. Last year we had to wait until September. Cash helps out as well because I won't be taxed on it. (Of course if the law requires that I report it on my 2017 tax return I will do that, I just haven't investigated the laws yet. Hopefully I won't forget to look that up next year.) Suddenly next year wasn't looking so bad.
I got home that night after dropping off the rental car and mixed a drink. About five hours later I heard back from both the ladies that I had given books to. And they were loving it.
Martina, the one who lives in New York City even said she wants a series! Both of them asked about the sequel.
Yep, I'll be going back next year.
On a side note, Who Is Olivia Green sold again last week. That's crazy to me. I had been waiting to hear from the publisher that she was pulling it, but it just keeps selling! The next one is plugging along and I hope to get a few writing nights in this week.