Try some, Buy some

A week or so ago I embarked on an endeavor, hoping to write for 30 consecutive days. I did that after a conversation with my son, Cal, who challenged me to do so. I mentioned then that we also discussed a second topic. That topic was advertising.

Cal asked me, “Do you ever really sell any of these books and stories that you’re writing?” It wasn’t a spiteful question. I had been encouraging him to practice his writing, because he’s getting into that aspect of things in class, and struggling a little. But he’s sure that he will be a gamer or a doctor, a director or a soldier, none of which requires writing. (Right, bear with me here.)

So I told him I sell some, but not bestsellers, I suppose. Sometimes I’ll speak to a group and sell to those who enjoyed the talk, that sometimes folks find me online, and sometimes I sell through a couple bookstores or on Amazon. With my books and short stories, sometimes I can find neither rhyme nor reason as to how they sell online, but the phone dings and someone has spent a few bucks to read something I wrote.

It’s a good feeling when someone buys something that you created. There's a very small profit in books, but it’s a nice little compliment. I have appreciated every single time that I've signed something for someone.

Cal, though, said what I need is advertising. I already have a website and a Facebook presence, Instagram and Twitter, an author page on Amazon, a spot on Goodreads, and probably a couple other things I’m forgetting right now - but Cal wants more. In fact, I suppose I had our little talk in mind when I wrote the short The Car Salesman the other day, with the protagonist Walter Philpot checking out his ad in the Yellow Pages, talking about advertising and a fair deal. (Reflecting, Cal is correct. I like the writing more than the selling, and so I have a tendency to just assume someone will stumble across the things I’ve done.)

But my 12-year-old son is about to take things to a new level. He lives and breathes in the world of video, and he is learning to put together little videos and insists that he is going to make some videos for me, as advertisements and commercials. I’m looking forward to seeing what he suggests, and what he does. I do know that it will be fun, possibly silly, and hopefully successful. Even if it’s not, what a blast doing something creative with him will have to be.

In the meantime, since Cal would want you to ask, my books can be ordered directly through my website, and if you order that way I’ll be able to sign them and ship to you. If you’re not interested in a signature (but of course you are! :-)) then you can order from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. And I hope to get them into more brick-and-mortar independent stores, which is what I really enjoy, myself.

Thanks for giving this little blog a read, and until Cal gets the hit commercials done, please follow the links below. Thanks! James

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