Even though I wouldn’t say I’m new to book signings anymore, having 6-8 under my belt I wouldn’t say it gets a whole lot easier. It’s easier talking about what you do or what you’ve written but still sitting there as people walk by is an uncomfortable experience. You know when someone is sitting at a booth or standing in the door way of a store and you walk to the other side?
Well that’s exactly what happens when I’m sitting at the table. Some people have never seen an author sitting there, many people have no idea why I’m there so their first thought is that, ‘they’re going to try to sell me something’. Which is normal, I think the same way and I even walk to the other side if I think a cell phone company or credit card company is going to ask me to sign up for something. I don’t like to say no, I don’t like to turn someone down and I don’t like the whole pressure sales idea.
So last weekend was the first weekend I didn’t sell a book at a book signing. And this might be hard to believe when I say I’m glad I didn’t. My first book signing I sold around 7 books, after that I sold about 5 each time which of course is always exciting and even surprising, which I am always grateful for. But I didn’t get into writing this book to see how many I could sell. And I must admit the numbers were starting to take over.
I began to think, ‘how many will I sell today’, when in fact that’s not my mission at all. My goal is to raise awareness on certain topics, I want to inspire people to eat better and live better and none of that is measured on a sale. Facebook posts about book signings are a significant tool for small businesses, sitting there in a major book store having a conversation about health makes a difference; and for my own personal growth, stepping out of my comfort zone is much more beneficial that a book sale.
But don’t get me wrong here, the more books I sell the more of a positive influence I can have on others, I appreciate every single order or sale; I’m simply stating getting wrapped up in ‘sales’ isn’t my objective and I never want it to be.
Other good things come out of signing. If fact I met another author who was kind enough to give me some invaluable information about promoting and finding other avenues to get Detoxify Yourself in the hands of others. This authors name was Mark who wrote a book called Splashing Over, and when I looked him up I was pleasantly surprised and impressed of what he’s been able to accomplish.
I also met a man who must have been an English teach of some sort who told me the entire history of peanuts! Ha, seriously though, a very educated man and I’m interested in history so it was a cool thing to learn. He looked at my recipe and said ‘it has to be all natural peanut butter?’, I said ‘well that’s the healthier option’. He asked me what the difference was, so I began to tell him there are 8 ingredients in the ‘conventional’ brand, then I started to tell him what those ingredients were and he had enough, which was perfectly fine by me.
Our focus really determines our experiences. In any situation we have a choice on what to focus on and how we perceive things. It would have been easy for me to only attend book signings for sales, to only focus on the number sold that day but I’d be missing out on so many other things that will help me be more successful in the future.
I have another book signing this weekend at the Chapters on MacLeod Trail in Calgary. I’ll be looking forward to meeting more interesting people, getting through an uncomfortable situation (and growing from it) and having some more conversations from perfect strangers.