December 5, 2009
Oceanview has hired a new person to handle book signings with the chains. I give her a welcome call and, “since we’re talking” she suggests that it’s as good a time as any for her to collect information about me and my book. It’s one of about twenty books she will be working on in the next few months.
It’s a discouraging conversation. She reminds me – and I know I’ve said this about others – of a real estate agent or perhaps a printing company rep. Of course, her job is ultimately selling books, and she probably should have that superficial perky brightness that so many women in sales cultivate. However, I must say she doesn’t strike me as particularly knowledgeable. And our conversation about book signings revolves entirely around local independents, and by local I mean the San Francisco Bay Area. She asks me if there are any bookstores that would be good locations for signings. She asks me. I say in so many words, “I write books. I don’t make lists.”
I do learn from the conversation that there is rather intense competition for the privilege of setting up a card table in a book store and sitting behind it, hoping somebody will come by and buy one of your books. (These are called “meet-and-greet” signings, in contrast to readings.) You have to work at it even to get the opportunity.
There’s a term in sales: low-hanging fruit. These are the sales opportunities you go after first, the easy ones. I don’t fit into that category. Given my “platform,” or lack thereof, I’ll be lucky if I get any help from her at all.
I realize that if I’m going to get any results from the Oceanview marketing organization, I need to sell the wonderfulness of Fortuna much more effectively. I think the key is getting them to understand the significance of the trend towards online gaming as an alternative to watching TV. It’s huge. Millions do it. And it’s a phenomenon that hasn’t been well covered in the media.
I think what I have to do is launch the book in Second Life. That will attract some interest.