Autumn is officially here and with that the Farmer’s Market in my town has come to an end. Back in the beginning when I discussed to my family that I wanted to go down there and sell my books, I believe everyone had apprehensions on how well I’d do. Even I didn’t think that I’d do as well as I did. For showing up at my Farmer’s Market 11 times, I sold approximately 30-40 books. And if you took a look at my Amazon rankings, that’s a big deal to me. I have never sold 30-40 books in that short span of a time unless I was giving away a freebie on Amazon and even then it wasn’t like people were lining up to get a free book written by moi.Surprisingly, a number of people decided to purchase my anthology, Musings from Yesteryear, and I started to garner some sort of word-of-mouth buzz from it. I recall one week when someone from Columbus happened to be in my area, stumbled upon the Farmer’s Market, looked at my books, and proclaimed that her friend had just given her my anthology and told her that she had to read it. We both thought that it was a pretty cool moment that she met me and she decided that fate must be telling her to read my book.
Another interesting thing I learned from going down to the Farmer’s Market is that though I think my audience is between the ages of 14-21, hardly anyone from that audience bought my book (or begged their parents to buy it for them.) I believe there were about 2-3 young ladies who begged their parents to purchase the book for them (one of which had to come back the next week because I just sold out and I gave her a snazzy gift). All of the other purchasers ended up being 40+ and they either bought it for themselves or because they happened to know a teen who was a voracious reader. I received feedback from one person who was a regular, but as for the others…I have no idea if what I wrote was any good or not. I like to hope that they enjoyed/are enjoying what they are reading though.
Would I do this again? Of course! It is, without a doubt, the most successful “marketing” I’ve ever done. Though it’s a shame that selling by hand doesn’t do anything for my Amazon rank (and let’s face it: everything is all about our Amazon rank) at least it’s building up word-of-mouth and getting my name out there. I love talking with locals and other bright-eyed writers who barrage me with questions. I’d like to be an inspiration to indie writers in my area (or any writers!) that with a little perseverance, they too could be out there with their very own books and mingling with the locals.