Who would take a book to a Bruce Springsteen concert? I would!
What would you think if you saw someone carrying a book into a Bruce Springsteen concert? In the case I’m about to describe – you’d probably be wrong, because the person was me and the book was this one by Billy O’Conor. My husband is one of the biggest Springsteen fans I’ve ever met. Me? Not quite as big a fan. Still, when Bruce comes to the Valley, of course we see him.
We were on our way to dinner before the March 10th show in Downtown Phoenix when I noticed, in this order:
- A small folding stool with a short stack of books on it – books on the street!
- A familiar guy handling one of the books (he was signing a stack of them)
- A book cover I recognized
I was so happy to see an author on the street selling his books – and then when I realized it was someone I knew, that added an extra layer of excitement. Billy O’Connor brought his award-winning book, Confessions of a Bronx Bookie, to the December 2014 Holiday Author Event. Almost anytime I see an author selling books in an unusual place, I will buy one, whether or not I even have an interest in the book. It’s my way of walking my talk to support indie authors. (In this case, it was my husband who bought the book.)
I posted a few months back about meeting Dustin Hall at Coolidge Days and buying his book. And when my husband and I – who don’t have any small children in our lives – met Tao Blaine Baker at the Renaissance Festival last month, we bought a copy of his adorable children’s book, The Ballad of Stinky Pete.
So what’s to take away here? Go where the crowds are and sell books. Did Billy O’Connor have a permit? I didn’t ask, but I’m guessing not. And if the cops asked him to move along, he would have done. But in the meantime, he took advantage of the Springsteen/Peter Frampton crowd and peddled some books. Good on him!
One of my favorite people is local children’s author Rita Goldner. I love Rita because she is fearless when it comes to promoting her book, ORANGUTAN: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy. I’m paraphrasing here, but her advice is, “Try it. You won’t know what you can do unless you push the envelope a little bit. And when they tell you to stop, push a little bit more.” OK – so I don’t think Rita’s advocating for getting arrested or winding up with a citation. But try stuff! Look for opportunities. Ask for opportunities. Create your own opportunities.
Second takeaway: support your fellow authors!
As I wrote when I posed this to FB, buy other indie authors’ books! And pay the full cover price – don’t wait for the freebie or ask for a discount. Then read the book – and if it’s good, review it honestly. Dishonest reviews do all authors a disservice, so don’t praise a book that doesn’t deserve it. But DO write honest reviews for good books! And support each other. Don’t be the guy in our Meetup who recently said, in response to an invitation to our first Author Reading/Sales/Signing Event, “I don’t have any interest in hearing other authors read their books. I just want to know how to promote my own book.”
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.
(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)