View Full Version : Can I borrow some confidence from someone?

10-19-2005, 12:30 AM
I really want to go in w/ confidence and sound like I know what I'm doing. I want to know keywords that the bookstore managers might be listening for when I talk about the book. I guess it's that "perfectionist" thing getting in the way for me, so much that I'm finding it's keeping me from doing what I probably need to do.

So, any ideas? Especially those who have already started doing this stuff?

As much as I'd like to sit back and wait a bit, my baby is due December 3, so I don't have a lot of time at my disposal.

Or should I just wait for the promo/PR material, so I have something that shows the "legitimacy" of the book and its goal?

10-19-2005, 12:38 AM
Two pieces of advice - - >

1) Be human
2) Remember they are human too.

Oh, alright, a bit more..

3) Remember why you decided to do this - that will tell you why the book is important and deserves their attention.

4) Remember who is benefitting from this - i.e. not you - you are being altruistic, not self-centered, and you deserve them to pay attention to that too.

And finally...these two things

5) Remember to breathe
6) Remember to smile

Do both of these things throughout with just enough space to speak inbetween ;-)

10-19-2005, 01:14 AM
Thanks, Alpha.

I think I've got those things down, because that is what is motivating me in the first place. I'm a bit of a hermette, but I'm willing to put that aside for the good of the book. And although I can be reclusive, when I get out there I do pretty darn good--I'm not even that afraid of public speaking, believe it or not. But I want to be armed with knowledge, so even if I don't have the confidence in myself, I can have confidence in the information I give them. I want to be able to "sell" the book.

Any books I can check out about book promotion, or about book signings?

10-19-2005, 01:36 AM
I'm not sure the book needs to be sold, I believe it only needs to be told.

If you are not confident in your ability to 'sell' the book then you'd seem to be best off waiting for the flyer.

Perhaps print out some of the official blank-square flyers and in the blank square write 'If you find a bookstore that Does Not stock this book then ask them WHY!'

As for me, I'm certainly not going to approach any store without knowing the ISBN, the price, and the route to order that the given bookstore would need to take. I doubt any sales pitch would be more successful before that info than after.

10-19-2005, 02:28 AM
I contacted only one bookstore to date. The reason I contacted the one is because it is more than a bookstore, I know the manager a little, and wanted to know what it would take to get it in their store... once it's available. I have a "game plan" however.

This is the hardest part of all; the waiting. It seems like we should be doing something but really there is nothing to do but wait until the book is available for purchase. We have all the tools in place that we can prepare in advance. When the time is right, it will be another huge flurry of activity armed with our flyers, posters, press releases, and possibly interviews. The momentum from those will hopefully carry us through the most nerve racking parts for some of us newbies.

It's the waiting that is the confidence killer for us newbies as well. We can think of all kinds of reasons why we shouldn't do the promoting... but we gotta.As Alphabet said, "Remember why you decided to do this - that will tell you why the book is important and deserves their attention."

10-19-2005, 02:35 AM
You don't have to sell them anything if you're not a sales person type. Just tell them the facts, tell them it's a book for helping the disaster relief 100%, and that some named authors such as OSC and WW will be in it, and it's a darn good book. Tell them you're a local author, available for a signing or reading. Leave your contact information and ordering information. If they don't have a definitive answer, tell them you will following up in a few days.

Smile a lot. Be personable. And say Thank You.

10-19-2005, 03:04 AM
Lots of good advice here.

Be personable. And say Thank You.
I especially like these two nuggets, Ray. The only thing we really don't want to do is give em the hard-sell like a cliched used car salesman. So, no plaid suits, guys!

10-19-2005, 03:35 AM
So, no plaid suits, guys!

Darn it... that just threw my wardrobe right out the window.


My mother made a plaid suit for me once. I wore it like a good girl... with another set of clothes underneath... When I would get out of her sight I took it off and stuffed it in a bag... one thing about growing up in the hills... there are always some trees around.

10-19-2005, 04:25 AM
I guess I don't mean to sound like such a rube, but I know that there are a whole bunch of people 'round here that have done this sort of stuff before. I've said this somewhere else before, but when I'm not entirely sure of myself, I arm myself with knowledge. If I go in knowing what to expect, then I can be more sure of myself and what I need to do.

I also figured that if I feel this way, there are probably others here that do, too.

There's a part of me that is sure I'll do fine, but I've never been in any situation where overpreparing has been a handicap! :)

Thanks, folks, for the advice.
(And you can keep that advice rolling, too, if you're so inclined!)

10-19-2005, 04:29 AM
Maybe we could get this guy (http://www.rockandrollreport.com/photos/uncategorized/herb_1.jpg) to pitch B&N for us....

10-19-2005, 04:44 AM
Maybe we could get this guy (http://www.rockandrollreport.com/photos/uncategorized/herb_1.jpg) to pitch B&N for us....:ROFL: works for me... I wonder if he'll work for food... I'm broke but I'm a great cook.

Kim Gogo
10-19-2005, 06:39 AM
I just got back from our monthly meeting for the Cdn Authors Association. Our speaker tonight was an owner of a bookstore and one of the things he touched on was the popularity of POD publishers. So I snafu'd him after the meeting. I said to him that I'm a member of a writer's website, in which Jenna (author of Celine Dion's For Keeps biography) Glatzer is the editor-in-chief. His eyes perked up at that.

I gave some background info of SoS, including the worldwide literary connections. I told him the local media outlets that I plan to approach, as well as the major national media (US and Cdn) that other members are approaching, and I asked him if it would be something his bookstore would be interested in carrying.

He was interested and gave me his business card. "I" asked "him" what my next steps would be: would his store be interested in ordering directly from lulu? or would it be better for me to buy X copies to sell through his store? etc etc

He said that when the book comes out, I should bring a copy for him to see. At that point, he would decide how many he would like, though at this time, without seeing it, he would prefer that I order them b/c he is unfamiliar with lulu. Depending on how quickly the copies sell, he would later decide how to stock them. He also mentioned that, normally his store would like to make some money in the process. However, since it is for charity, he would probably not pursue a share for this particular book.

The amount of local and national media coverage SoS gets, will do our work for us. When the public hears about it, if they don't immediately go online to buy it, they will remember it. If you were to get interviewed in the paper or on the radio and you mention that you are planning to approach local bookstores like Bob's Book Barn, the public will go to Bob and say, do you have SoS? Or, can I order SoS through you? If Bob were to hear about SoS, and then you walk into his store and say, Hi Bob--wanna stock a great book? he may in fact want to kiss you! Because not only is Bob helping a worthwhile cause by selling SoS, he is also going to prosper b/c maybe Mary-Jane Doe will buy two other books while she's in there buying SoS.

I think most american bookstores will have no hesitation to stock SoS and it will be your easiest sale ever. This is one time each of us will have absolutely no problem selling a bookstore on stocking a book; SoS will sell itself.

You don't need any more confidence than that.

kim :)

10-19-2005, 08:51 PM
One thing I tell myself (affirmation) when I am nervous in a situation like this--I will do something for someone else I will not do for myself.
So you have children, won't you step up for them when you might not step up for yourself?
It's the same deal here. You are stepping up for people who can not take care of themselves right now. Put that up front in your mind when you are making an approach.
I know where youre coming from on the hermit thing. I isolate myself too. That's why I live in the mountains. It's hard for me too. Heck going to a big city is hard. All that chaos and traffic, things coming at you.
We are all commited to helping with this. Dress up and show up!
With ya,

September skies
10-27-2005, 03:39 AM
You all sure have some great advice / info. I have not gone out to speak with any bookstores or papers or anything because I've been waiting for the press release and I'm getting more excited by the day.:)