Paying Dues

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You occasionally see photos of authors at book signings with empty chairs and stacks of books no one is buying and before you publish, you’re a bit arrogant, and think, “That won’t be me. My book will sell itself.” Not true.

Part of garnering attention for it means sitting in an arts and crafts consignment shop on a cold rainy Saturday and waiting for nonexistent customers or going to a book signing at a bus stop that’s quit running. It means selling books to all your friends and family and inviting them to signings so the room is full. It requires marketing, more marketing, and yet more marketing, having faith that one day a small miracle will happen and your book will stand out.

As I explore the wonderful world of not selling books, I’m learning what didn’t work this time failed for a different reason than what didn’t work last time. It’s like collecting rejection slips and writing synopsis before you find a publisher- you’re paying dues.

Am I done trying things or thinking outside the box? Not at all. What I am doing now is looking for places where people gather and asking if I can share that space. I’ve banded together with other writers so there are lots of ideas. I’ve done some things that work but I’m open to suggestions. What works for you- on a shoe string budget?

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Just Go Ahead and Alter Those My Little Ponies…

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The 2.5 year old and I bought a lot of MLP (My Little Ponies) at the Goodwill a month or two ago and she expressed no interest in them… until yesterday… AFTER I painted three black and started transforming them into Day of the Dead Ponies for the Fur Reality convention.

She looked and looked for her other little ponies and played non-stop with her remaining two. Really played- giving them separate voices, feeding them, combing their hair, sleeping with them, telling stories with them. Today I gave in and took her to the BIG Toy Store to get a new pony. We usually go to the small local store that has interesting toys, but this trip required the store with the backwards R because it has a huge selection. Noni was thrilled with our adventure. She found something that interested in nearly every aisle, flopping down on the floor to look at a box or read a book. It made toy shopping lengthy and I insisted that she stay focused and pick only one toy, and she continued to chose the box of three Tiny ponies wearing dresses.

In the backseat, all the way home, she talked to the ponies in the box and introduced them to her Big Pony. “This is your big sister. Momma’s at home.” And then, she said to me, “My ponies are very sad, NiNi.”

“Why?”

“Because they don’t have a daddy. Let’s go get a daddy pony.”

We didn’t, of course. I put out a call to an online garage sale group for MLP lots. We’ll see what happens…

And those in the process of being altered? Tip #1 Braid their hair BEFORE you start. Tip #2 Allow plenty of time for each layer of paint to dry before beginning the next layer. Good thing the convention is 9 days away!!! It may take me all of them to finish them! Tip #3 If you want the toddler to play with something, take it away and turn it into something else.