Once upon a time, I owned a craft supply store on the small remote island I still call home. I filled that store with...
quilt batting, thread in many colours and even a few bolts of fabric for quilters
knitting needles and yarn for knitters
paper, scissors and stickers for scrapbookers
an assortment of beads and precious stones for jewellery makers
crayons, faster plaster, markers for children
and the list goes on and on...
I sat in the shadows with my knitting and waited for my customers to find me.
Island residents trickled in throughout the year but they were joined by tourists in the summer.
One day, he came in and walked up one aisle and down the other. I didn't recognize him and thought he must be a tourist.
"Wow, I'm really impressed by the diverse collection of merchandise." From his accent, I knew he was an American. "You've done very well." His smile wasn't out of pity or mockery. It was genuine. This stranger was proud of me. "If this was my store everyone within a 10 -- no -- 100-mile radius would know where to find me and what I had for sale."
What I thought at the time was, Americans are good at marketing.
What I do now is, pull that memory out each time I want to hide in the shadows.
I don't think authors should say, "I have a book. Did you know that I have a book? Wow, my book is so good. Have you heard about my book?"
Marketing is about making connections.
I connect with readers by saying, "You like to read. Well, on my blog, I review books and share my writing."
I connect with writers by saying, "You want to build your author career. So do I. On my blog, I share what I'm learning about the publishing industry."
Thank you, Mr. American tourist, for coming into my store that day. You taught me to take pride in what I do. And you taught me to share it with those who can benefit from it.
*about the photos: they were taken by me of my knitting but not in my store.