I tell people that I sell books because I work at it, but sometimes it’s so easy, there’s no work involved at all. Here are some examples from the past few weeks.
The Crossings Guide to Oregon’s Coastal Spans arrived on January 9 and on January 23, an article about the book appeared in the local newspaper. Not front-page news, mind you, just a small press release on page 7 of the main section that I had written accompanied by a photo of the book cover.
The next week, I dropped off some stuff at the Humane Society Thrift Shop. When I was spelling my name for the gal filling out a receipt, another voice chimed in, helping me spell my own name. (Now that was a disconcerting experience!) Then the voice said, “Judy isn’t it? Where do I know that name from?” I mumbled something about writing Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges. She said, “That’s it! And you have a new book. And I want it.”
I said, “I have books in my car outside.”
She said, “I’ll get my purse.”
Easiest sale I ever made to a stranger.
The next day, I went in to have my hair cut, and Quinn, the gal who does my hair, said she wanted one of my books. So I went out to the car and brought one in before she did my hair. That wasn’t hard either.
About a week later, I had my chimney cleaned. Jerry, who owns Coastal Heating & Air Conditioning, also cleans chimneys. Before that, he was in construction work. In fact, he helped build my house. He has done numerous repairs on it over the years and in the process has become a friend. He left with two books.
Yesterday, I went to Woodsman Nursery and bought 10 plants––some new and some to replace those that have died during the past year. As the co-owner helped me load plants, she asked what I’d been up to. “As a matter of fact,” I said, “I’ve written a second book. . . .” She bought two.
Today I went to the Events Center to attend the Florence Home & Garden Show. Among the 40 or so booths, there were a few I wanred to check out. One of them was Terra Firma. I have a support beam in the garage that may need extra support, and I want someone from this company to come out and take a look and give me their assessment. When asked about what is a good time to call, I told her anytime because I’m a writer and often at home. She asked what I had written. Hey! She asked. I had to tell her. Before I knew it, she wanted a book for her uncle’s upcoming birthday.
After checking out all the booths, I went out to my car and got two copies—one extra just in case. While the Terra Firma gal was looking through The Crossings Guide, an acquaintance, Carol, came up and wanted a copy also. She checked her wallet, realized she had limited funds with her, and decided to pick up a copy later at one of the bookstores in town instead. So after selling one book, I headed for the door.
Before getting there, I saw Paul, another acquaintance, sitting alone at a table having a bite to eat. I sat down to visit for a moment. The last time I’d seen him, I’d mentioned the bridge tour that I would be leading. So I told him how it turned out, and we proceeded to discuss coastal bridges. I never mentioned The Crossings Guide, but he did. All on his own, he asked how my second book was coming and that he had not seen a copy yet. So I reached into my tote bag and brought out the second book. As I was showing it to him, he wiped his hands clean, reached into his pocket, and brought out his wallet. So easy!
Then Carol walked up and said she could buy the book, after all. She had made the circuit of the booths and had enough money left over. I told her I had just sold it, but I could go out to my car and get another copy. She said she was in no hurry since she was just sitting down with friends to have some lunch.
Once again, I headed out. Before getting to my car, I ran into Bob Serra, my publisher, and his wife coming in. Bob asked how books sales were going, so I told him. He wasn’t a bit surprised and went on his way chuckling.
So I brought in a book for Carol, personalized it for her, and had a nice long chat before leaving for good.
I realize that the book is new and that folks do read the paper, so sales should be good in my own hometown of Florence. I also realize that as we saturate the market here, sales will drop off. So I’ll enjoy these days of easy sales.