Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pigs do fly

Halloween haystack outside Johnson City, TexasHere is a Halloween hay bale in some scary part of Texas.

We’ve made a couple of trips to Austin recently to see our son, a recent emigre from Boston. On our way home last month, we stopped for lunch at a roadside restaurant where I noticed that they had locally published books for sale at the counter. The boss wasn’t in, so I emailed her when we got home, proposing that she offer my novel for sale as well. What a delight when she promptly replied that she’d take a whole carton—26 copies—which I promised to deliver on my next trip through town. So I delivered them this week, along with an invoice.

Later that same day, we drove through Johnson City, the boyhood home of LBJ, where I sold another seven to a gift shop. What drew me to the place was the banner on the side of the building. The proprietor said she'd been told pigs would fly when she started her own business, so she proudly announced to the world that pigs do fly.

All told, I sold 34 copies over the weekend. It feels good.

The Denton Writer’s League had me as a guest speaker at the local library on Saturday. Denton is a small city north of Fort Worth with an appealing downtown area and a good-sized modern library, the Emily Fowler. My audience was small and receptive, not to mention kind enough to treat me to a local Chinese buffet.

By the way, in case you think these trips are little spins around the block, prepare to be disabused. Las Cruces to Austin is about a 1300-mile round trip. And Austin to Denton is another 450 there and back.

Did I mention that Texas is a big state? Believe it, y’all.


Ruth D~ said...

Which was harder writing or promoting? Or maybe I should ask which was more fun. Sounds like a great trip, and successful.

The hay bale could easily be made to look like a pig. If you had one on your front lawn you could set up a little table beside and sit around all day selling books to gathering crowds. How easy would that be?

Kathryn Mackel said...

Congrats on the sales! Awesome.

What did you speak on?

Bob Sanchez said...

They're so different that it's hard to compare, either in difficulty or in the level of enjoyment. Promotion is fun when it brings me in contact with people, but it's hard to get media to pay any attention. Media attention seems of less value than I expected. The attention is fleeting at best, so unless you're prepared to capitalize on the attention, for example by making up and distributing zillions of copies of the favorable review, you may be as well off by staying in bed and getting extra sleep. These little excursions are fun, but I don't know if I'd be prepared to do it on a large scale.

So despite my not having written much new lately, writing is more fun. In the long run, given the choice between only writing and only promoting what I've already written, I'd choose writing.

Bob Sanchez said...

In Denton I read a little of WPF, then spoke about the self-publishing process.