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Tales from the book promo trenches

20 Nov
Sharon reads from her Beyond book series

Sharon reads from her Beyond book series

I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them. – Ann Rice

If anyone thinks you can make money from your published books without a lot of work, get your head out of the sand. It IS a lot of work. It can be fun too but also harrowing. In the last week here’s what’s been going on with my Beyond series books.

Weekend of November 14 to 16 – Inspire Book Fair Toronto Metro Convention Centre

Friday, 6 p.m. My one-hour to sell book copies at the Sisters in Crime Toronto booth. The book fair was a dead zone although groups of school kids were in earlier running around the room. But at 6 p.m there were more exhibitors than people attending the book fair. Still I managed to sell one copy of Beyond Blood to a big mystery reader

Saturday, people buying tickets, going up on the escalator and wandering around in the convention room. Yay!

4.40 p.m. Read from and talked about Beyond Blood and Beyond the Tripping Point on a smaller stage. I used my loud outside voice and the editor at my publishers (Blue Denim Press) said he could hear me from their booth. Afterwards I returned to their booth, sold and signed one book.

Before that I wandered around talking to people – mostly those I knew, but some I hadn’t seen for years. Yes, some of them bought copies of my books at the Blue Denim Press booth, but it was also a chance to talk about writing and doing PR

Sunday, I returned to Inspire with my friend Kathy. We hung around my publisher’s booth for a bit and sat in the audience when another Blue Denim Press author read. Kathy bought a copy of Beyond Blood and one of the other author’s books.

All in all it was a good experience but could have been better for book buying, especially as it is Christmas shopping time and my publisher, at least, had the books on sale. I can’t believe everyone is just buying e-copies (My books are available in the usual e-pub and Kindle versions from the usual places as well as from my publisher. Click on the Beyond Blood book at the bottom for the link.) My publisher said Inspire was more of a networking experience and yes, they connected with a lot of potential organizations for book distribution and other book promo.

Wednesday, November 20, part of Crime Writers of Canada’s Murder and Mayhem reading series – at the Beaches library branch in Toronto. And we had a full house, a captivated audience who asked a lot of questions of the four of us reading and talking about our books. The whole time was creative magic and connections between authors and readers.

The downside? The bloody weather – Toronto’s first somewhat big snowstorm – more blowing around and of course the timing of the storm couldn’t be worse. It took me over an hour and a half to get to the library from my place – a trip that should take only 30 to 40 minutes maximum. The first bus arrived on time but it was a slow journey to the subway station. But I could have still arrived at the library on time. Except the other bus wasn’t showing up. Some of us waited over half an hour. I finally phoned the library and told the librarian about the situation and that if a bus came I would try to get there for 7 p.m. (6.30 p.m. was starting time). The first bus got too packed and I couldn’t get on. The second one came maybe 10 minutes later and didn’t take long to go its route and get me to my destination. Then came the 10-minute walk to the library. But I made it and after my co-host Nate introduced me, I told everyone “I got derailed by the weather.” (Only a railway brat like me would use that term).

Despite the good session, no books of mine sold. I think one author sold one book.

So, you see it is all uphill. Yes I do the social media bit. No, I won’t give up. I love meeting my readers and talking about my books, reading from them, and giving writing advice.

I’m also very stubborn and persistent.

Just ask those who know me.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

For those not in the Toronto, Canada area, you can click on my book covers below – they will lead you to my publisher Blue Denim Press’s website. Scroll down and you can see where Beyond Blood is currently available, including at www.bluedenimpress.com.

And check my website www.samcraw.com – click on Beyond Blood. I constantly update the gigs etc. on that page.

 

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford's mystery short story collection

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford’s mystery short story collection

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

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