From struggling writer to struggling salesperson

From struggling writer to struggling salesperson

Well, it's been two months since Shooting Stars released and while July had reasonable sales and I was featured in the local community newspaper, the Bush Telegraph (pictured) and the article was also published online in the New Zealand Herald, August has closed without a single sale.

Still, my five minutes of fame was nice while it lasted. I had a few people in town recognise me from article and say, 'hey, you're that writer'. It was an enjoyable boost to the ego and it made me laugh. I'm used to people staring at me because well, I'm weird. But, for a few days I laughed to myself thinking I could respond with a smile and a hand to my chest, and nod and say, 'Yes. Yes, it is me.'

On the 16th of August I spoke about my book and the process of writing to the local retired business owners group, known as Rebus, as a favour to an elderly friend who is the president of the group. There were around thirty people in the audience and it was great practice for me. I hadn't spoken in front of a large group since my high school days.  It went well and I could easily have spokedn for longer than the fifteen minutes I was allocated. I could also have been much better prepared. My friend asked me if I would need the 'overhead projector' and I said no, envisaging the old clunky optical machines that overheated and needed transparencies. Silly me, in this day and age, even the local community club rooms can afford a ceiling mounted computer-linked projector! Instead of wondering where I'd get transparencies from, all I needed was a USB stick and images. I'll know for next time!

This last weekend I decided to try selling my books at the local craft market. I was hoping the newspaper article would still be fresh in people's minds and that might persuade them to buy. I loaded up my poor trike with 20 books and a few assorted crafts, small table and chair, and set off early on the icy foggy Satuday morning. After three and a half hours I finally gave up and returned with 20 books. It was a valiant attempt, but I don't think I'll do it again. It wasn't worth the backache and strain to my aging trike.

So, I'll stick to social media for now. Not that that fills my heart with joy. I write because I love being a writer, not because I wan't to be a social media star. But these days it's becoming a case where getting ahead in life depends on your social media clout and you only get social media clout by being the best at what is basically a global popularity contest. I thought I left that bullshit behind when I left high school!! 

Sigh, I'll keep chasing the mirage. Maybe, if I'm lucky, i might just find water along the way.

Posted: Tue 29 Aug 2023


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