Monday, July 23, 2018

The Obligation of Buying

I recently read an indie author's rant on Twitter about the consumer's overall lack of support for indie and local artists and why people ought to buy local and indie.

I'm all for supporting local businesses and indie artists often do.

But not to the extent the customer is obligated to buy.

The author on the rant was extremely upset at the lack of support at a signing at a local bookstore. This included lack of attendance (and sales) from family and friends, as well as the customers marching past the table and vanishing among the shelves.

Believe me, I get it, except the part about getting used to rejection. I'm not sure anyone is ever 100 percent comfortable with readers preferring to read books other than our own and choosing them over ours at every opportunity.

It is, unfortunately, part of the process of hanging out our shingle. When the product we're selling has sprung forth from our creative selves, the shunning feels doubly personal. But we are not small children, and the world is not our refrigerator from which we post our handiwork.

Bookstores, libraries, really any venue, host authors in their space to attract potential customers to the store and not necessarily to the author's table. For the venue, a sale of any product still makes the cash register cling.

Now, it's nice if customers stop and buy one or more books. But no one is, or should be, obligated to buy.

Rather, the obligation is on us to help attract the public through the door.

We build the best product we can. We build the best reputation we can for us as and our works. We promote the event in courteous, non-spammy ways, knowing we can't control the outcome.

Be thankful for even the opportunity. No one owes you.

Sidebar: As I leave a busy weekend in the past, how did all those "Ws" work out?


Surprisingly, I got more writing in than I anticipated. I scrolled through chapter seventeen and found it ready for editing. I spruced up eighteen and nineteen and made my way about halfway through twenty when Rebekah had some time to help me create a template for the newsletter (this is for another post).

Createspace flagged the cover for Cornell Dyer and the Necklace of Forgetfulness, so Sue Midlock resized it last night, and Rebekah reuploaded it. I'll know in a day or two if I can finally order a proof.

Here's a sneak peek:

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