Did you ever ask your brother for a favor only to see his eyes glaze over as he tried to look at anything but you?
Maybe it was just a tiny thing you asked him for like lending you $20 or signing your mother’s name on a note to get you out of class. Of course those examples are face-to-face encounters so you can see the reaction and feel it in your gut.
What about e-mail? Did you ever ask your sister to babysit your bratty kid while you took a holiday for a week? Over e-mail?
If you whisper yes to any of these examples then you know the feeling writers sometimes get when talking about their books to their family.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of my family have bowled me over with support but one or two, not so much. Here’s a list of ways to sell your book without hassling your friends and family.
7 Ways to Sell Your Novel Without Annoying Your Friends
- Realize that all writers have people in their circles both those who love to read or those who would rather have total body waxing in public than read a book.
- Don’t give free copies to anyone, friend or family, unless they have proof-read or helped with the actual work in some way. This eliminates the jealousy of sibling rivalry.
- Accept those who never once bring up the subject of your newly published book. They just can’t tell you their reasons for ignoring your accomplishments and sometimes that is a good thing.
- Send only one notice to friends, family, and acquaintances about your new book and ask them to sign up for your business-oriented newsletter. That way you’ll know who wants to hear about future book or announcements and who doesn’t. And you can respect their wishes.
- Now that you’re becoming more of a public persona, never, never do, say, tell anything that will embarrass your personal circle. They will bless you for respecting their privacy.
- When out with your folks remember that talking all night about your journey is guaranteed to bore 98% of people. Just let the conversation flow and, if someone asks, tell your story. Then find out what they are doing. The most flattering conversational gambit is to ask about someone else’s life. It’s surprising how seldom people realize this but that can work well as you’ll shine if you become the one person who shows an interest.
- You can only sell so many books to those close to you. Find ways to broaden your scope. I’ve had a ball speaking to groups up to an hour and a half away just because I let people know what I do, always in a friendly, non-threatening way. And I continually work on selling to people out there in the wide world.
Yesterday I was delighted to open the door to my brother and his wife who dropped in for a visit. He has been teasing me ever since The Loyalist’s Wife came out last June about giving him a copy and also a copy of a family history photo book I did last year, too. We have had a lot of good laughs over it and I figured he was never going to buy either book. His choice. And while it rankled just a smidgen, I laughed and moved on. After a great catching up conversation full of occasional jokes about me giving him the books, he passed me a $100 bill. “You probably won’t have change.” He laughed uproariously. I snatched, yes, snatched that bill from him, handed him the books and went to my purse. I handed him the exact change. She who laughs last, I figured.
And I gave him back only enough change from buying the two books. I didn’t ask. He laughed and laughed and went away with his books to read on his visit to his daughter’s this weekend. I’m glad he finally bought the books but I am going to miss that little gambit whenever I see him.
I was born into a large family, very large, and I love them all. Most of them bought my book immediately. For those who didn’t, I’m not angry. I just realize their lack of foresight! I could be writing their eulogies!