Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Successful Failure

I was pretty optimistic as I headed off to the local market this morning. On my two previous trips I sold a few copies of my first two novels. This time, I had a third, and I raised the ante a little with the table set up and bonus offers.

It's the first day of December and Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye so I had a sign which promoted unique Christmas gifts including signed copies of my novels, original artworks by my daughter, and free gift wrapping.With each purchase of one or more of my books, I offered a choice of one other book for free: Jo Nesbo, Bill Bryson and Jayne Buxton to name but a few. On top of all that, I was there to greet people and chat about books, or anything at all.

This sunny day was matched by my disposition. An early sale of Ashmore Grief, buoyed my confidence further. I needed one more sale to cover my costs, and then it was full steam ahead to profit town.

Five hours later I was watching the clock, waiting to pack up and go
home, wondering why I had not sold anything else. Curious as to why I had less conversations and less interest than last time. Apart from the one wise lady who purchased Ashmore Grief, only one other person even picked up a display copy and read the blurbs of any of my books. You can see the multitudes streaming past my stall in the photo above, and the masses queueing to meet me and buy my books.

It was bad enough for me to pretty much decide never to return. The stall next to mine, was manned by a husband and wife, visiting this market for the first time to sell new books, and lots of them for only $5 each. Talk about competition. 

They were a lovely couple though. The guy is a web designer, the woman an editor and book reviewer for Reader's Digest. They both work from home. It was great to meet them. It was cool to meet the guy who designed a quit smoking program which he wants to publish, and another who apparently gained successive, multiple free entries into a certain Kings Cross establishment. The woman who is writing her own dictionary, and the guy who loves to read and would have bought a book if only it were written in his native Spanish.

I'm proud of my work. The lack of sales and recognition for my work is no reflection on its quality. Today's failure proves that I believe in what I do, and ultimately, by the grace of God and hopeful persistence, I will succeed.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Hang in there old sport. Maybe hit up a more populated market. Pimp out the stall even more so that nobody can miss you.

  2. Thanks Mr Gatsby, but I think I'm done with this particular avenue of marketing.