Sunday, March 27, 2011

Small Press Month - Tip # 27

March 27 - Always carry your book with you. You never know who you might be sitting next to on the subway or a plane, or the Jiffy Lube or even in a cafe at breakfast. In 1995, I was at breakfast in LA with a couple of publishing friends. We were talking about the books currently being produced at the fledgling publishing company with whom I was employed. A woman next to us overheard our conversation and wanted to see the books or our catalog, which I had with me in my briefcase. She made a purchase for her bookstore right then and there, and continues to be a valued customer to this day. In all, the lifetime value of that customer, after spending $5.00 on a bowl of oatmeal at breakfast one day, has amounted to over $50,000 in lifetime sales to that single customer.

Keep your eyes and ears open and your mind on alert. Always be aware that your behavior and attentiveness counts, no matter where you are or who you are with. If you are at a conference on your topic area, or regarding publishing, wear your badge in and around the hotel. Don't be obnoxious about it, but don't hesitate to find an opening and engage in friendly conversation with people.... "Excuse me, but I couldn't help but overhear. So you are interested in _______, I just finished a book on that subject and I'd love to talk to you about it."  This is when your elevator speech comes in really handy!  (See the post from March 2.)

One more important hint: Your printed book is important, of course, but also have your book loaded on your Kindle, android phone or another device and have it with you at the ready!


  1. Can this be done without people thinking you are eavesdropping? I have given my book to someone on a plane before, but never at a cafe. I'll have to perk up my ears more to see if I'm missing opportunities!

  2. Hi Phyllis - Well, you kind of have to be careful about that, it's true. I guess you have to choose your openings. I have no trouble engaging people in conversation... but I do step up with some caution so I'm not interrupting something or appearing rude. On a plane or other form of transportation, I really don't have a problem though! Thanks for the question.


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