Generating Lost Sales

I am a terrible salesman.

Mind you, I’m not just talking about being sort of bad at hocking stuff. No, I’m talking bad-bad. As in, talking folks already committed to buying a given thing out of their purchase. That kind of bad. I’m like the “John Carter” of salesmen — repulsing people in droves with my pathetic desperation.

Back before I dropped out of Boy Scouts, (I made it to Second Class. As the name implies, that’s not very far.) I would anticipate the annual popcorn sale with the kind of hopeless dread typically reserved for those awaiting certain death. While other kids were slinging mountains of caramel corn and cheesy kernels left and right, returning home with pockets packed with money and swimming in the proceeds like a bunch of Scrooge McDucks, I was timidly begging my parents to buy a bucket or two just so I wouldn’t look like a complete loser to all my fellow Scouts.

Truthfully, even if I did sell a bucket or two to my mother, the kids thought I was a loser anyway. Frown. Being cool is hard work.

Anyway, you can imagine how well marketing my self-published novel, Strange Beasts in a Small Town, is going.

Have I mentioned that I’ve already slapped my novel up for sale? No? I told you I’m bad at this.

I’ve read time and time again that writing is easy, selling is hard. I disagree with this statement. Writing is hard; selling is excruciating. Maybe it’s because I simply don’t enjoy having stuff marketed at me, but every time I try to push the book (Available here and here, by the way. Hint hint.), I feel like I’m begging for a sale. Please read this thing I wrote. Pretty please.

Yesterday, I decided to hit up a popular daikaiju blog for a review because, from my limited understanding of marketing, promotion is a good thing. I think. I emailed the site’s administrator with a detailed explanation of the novel’s story, a couple of free copies in different ebook formats and paragraph after paragraph devoted to equal amounts asking and excusing said administrator from reading the thing. I can’t help it, I feel weird asking somebody to give up their time for something that means a lot to me, but nothing to anyone else in the entire world. I know those who aren’t interested will simply say, “no,” but I feel like I’m inconveniencing them by even suggesting that they maybe please consider possibly giving it a look-see, please.

Ugh. Writing that just made me want to punch myself in the nards and shove my head into a toilet. What a wuss.

Maybe I’ll get better at this as I go along, but it’s not really that important if I don’t. Honestly, I didn’t write a giant monster/small southern town mashup novel to rake in the bucks. I’m proud of the novel and think the concept’s awesome, but also realize that I may just be the only idiot in the world with that point of view.

That said, I would love for people to read and, hopefully, enjoy it. That would be pretty nice.

If you’re interested at all in checking the book out, I commend your bravery and promise I’ll love you until the end of time…unless you’re creepy. I can’t be lovin’ on no creepsters, now. The novel is available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble for $2.99, the meager proceeds from which will likely go to help build my board game collection or possibly going out to eat with my lovely wife.

Now, if you’re genuinely interested in giving the novel a read but don’t have $3 to spend, I understand. I’m a cheapo, too. Shoot me an email at and I’ll send you a copy in your prefered format.

Shit. There I go talking myself out of a sale again. I told you I was bad at this.


5 thoughts on “Generating Lost Sales

  1. The best way to sell is and will always be what I call the Trench Coat Method. Keep copies of your book attached to the insides of your trench coat, and then walk up to people with a kind of sly paranoia. Look over your shoulder a few times and be sure to cover your mouth with your hand. Open the trench coat. “Got books here. Real funny. Couldn’t put it down.” It’s actually a two person job. You extract payment, first. Then you send send them around the corner where someone will hand them the book in a way that looks like an elaborate handshake. Honestly, that’s how Hemingway did it, and I wouldn’t tell that guy he did anything wrong.

      • An appropriate level of fear does create an urgency that does not allow them the time to second guess their purchase. Not death threats, though. How many books did the mafia sell? One? The Godfather? And they actually followed through on threats, so people knew they were legit. Case in point, I guess.

    • I’m going to try understanding, followed by nasty insults.

      “Oh, you can’t afford to buy my book? Sure. I understand. The economy’s bad, so you don’t have a lot of disposable income. You can’t afford my book for the exact same reason you can’t support your family. That’s cool. You failure.”

      Book sale: Made.

      • Brilliant. Also try: “Maybe your wife would stop banging the plumber so often if you read a little bit instead of picking your feet for four hours while watching the Cowboys play. Oh, look, lucky day: I happen to have a reasonably priced book right here.”

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