Books don’t sell themselves. Since we’re not on Amazon or have a regional distributor yet, it’s up to Dick Smith and me to promote Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges and make sales. He outsold me three to one on the first printing of 500, but it’s been more up to me on the second printing of 1,000. It’s not a full-time job, but on some weeks, I spend some time nearly every day promoting the book. This past week is a good example.
Saturday (November 5)––I got up and rehearsed my PowerPoint presentation, tweaking it to fit the new audience, and made sure the projector and laptop were in working order. I loaded the car and headed north, taking six books to the Waldport Heritage Museum. (We deliver whenever possible because shipping takes such a bite out of profits.) Then I stopped at an oceanfront wayside to eat my lunch before heading back down the coast to Cape Perpetua south of Yachats. I arrived at 1 p.m. and was able to easily connect my laptop to their projector, and then set up my books on a table where I could sell them after the presentation. There was plenty of time to chat with folks who had come just to see it. During the presentation, I talked about how the book came to be, a little about what it covers, some of what I learned about the bridges, and some old-timer’s stories included in the book as I clicked through about 35 book photos. It lasted 35–40 minutes and then I took questions for another 15 minutes or so. I sold nine books and chatted with folks until the Visitor Center closed at 4 p.m.
Sunday (November 6)––I spent some time catching up on paperwork for each vendor as to books delivered and payment received or not received. I keep all of this in a big binder. Then I went through all of the vendors and tagged the ones I needed to call to see if they want more books for the holiday season. I counted money I needed to turn in from book sales, and ran off more copies of invoices, press releases, and business cards. Then I counted books. I set aside groups of 17 and 15 and realized I only had 8 left. Lastly, I prepared a report for Dick and emailed it to him. While I handle most of the promotions, he handles the finances.
Monday (November 7)––At 10 a.m., I met with Dick and went over everything I did yesterday. Each of us will try to find time soon to get over to the publisher’s office to sign more books. With less than 450 books on hand, we discussed the third printing. That caused us to chuckle when we thought back to just eight months ago, when we were trying to decide whether to print 200 or 300 books or to be really audacious and go for 500. We’ve never regretted being audacious!
At noon, I lunched with a woman, whom I met when I did my PowerPoint presentation in her home for the local PEO women’s group in mid-October. I didn’t give myself time to eat lunch that day and so she wanted to treat me today and have me personally sign her copy of the book. It was a delightful lunch, and we discovered that we both had lived in the Kern River Valley in California when each of us were growing up. Small world!
Tuesday (November 8)––Prepared a package of 17 books to send to Made in Oregon. Then spent two phone calls and an email with fellow author Connie Bradley planning to go to a holiday craft fair to sell books. After which, I contacted a couple of other authors who might want to join us.
Wednesday (November 9)––Between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. made phone calls regarding trip up coast on Saturday. Some vendors will want more books and some won’t, and some phone calls will be initial contacts. Stopped by post office to mail package to Made in Oregon.
Thursday (November 10)––Made follow-up calls from yesterday and continued making the rest of the calls tagged in the binder. Thought about what I will write in this week’s blog.
Friday (November 11)––Got up early to write this blog. I post every Friday, but sometimes I can’t get to it until late in the day. I was gone to California to see family and friends between October 15 and November 3, but was able to post my blogs. I wrote two ahead of time, since I knew I wouldn’t have time or Internet access during part of the trip. Since I didn’t return home until late Thursday evening November 3 and had a ton of catching up to do last Friday, I didn’t get my blog posted until quite late––11:55 p.m. to be precise. I just barely made it.
Saturday (November 12)—Tomorrow I’ll get up early and rehearse my PowerPoint and tweak it to fit the new audience and head to Newport to give my program at Hatfield Marine Science Center and take the 15 additional books that they ordered. I will leave early enough to drop off more books at a couple of places in Yachats and Newport. And so it goes. . . .
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $3.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; and in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society.
Judy’s PowerPoint presentations with book sales/signing:
November 12, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.––Visitor Center Theater, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport (just south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge)
February 19, Sunday, 3 p.m.––Port Orford Library, Port Orford (1421 Oregon Street [Hwy 101])
Judy with Crossings sales/book signing at holiday craft show & book fair:
November 18–19, Friday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.––Many Hands (craft group) & Victorian Belles (artists) Craft Show, Three Rivers Casino events center, Florence (east of town off of Hwy 126)
December 4, Sunday, noon–5 p.m.––Oregon Historical Society’s “Holiday Cheer: A Celebration of Oregon Authors,” meet Oregon authors who will sign/sell books, $5 admission (free for OHS members and those under 17), Portland (1200 SW Park Avenue)