writers helping writers

At the grocery store last week, I was surprised to see an author set up just inside the main doors, selling his new book of cartoons, Casey and Kyle: So Much For Being On Our Best Behavior!!!.

So I stopped and talked with Will Robertson about why he was selling his books in a grocery store. He explained that he was going to various grocery and drug stores, setting up his little table and talking to people as they came in — and was selling 100 books a week.

(That’s pretty impressive, actually.)

We got to talking shop. I described my discovery about exporting .mobi files via Scivener, and he told me about his experience using Createspace. We exchanged cards and said we’d keep in touch.

As I set off in search of cough drops, I thought about what a neat coincidence that was — and also about how much authors can really help each other just by sharing information.

I’m still trying to convince my boyfriend that authors really aren’t in competition with each other, because buying a book isn’t like buying a house or a car, where (chances are) you’re just going to pick one and that’s it. Readers read. They’re always looking for new books, by both new and familiar writers, and when there are many good options to choose from, they’ll read (and buy) more, not less. At least, that’s my own experience as a reader. When I come across a good book, it makes me want to reach for another one. Good writing makes me want to tell other people about it, and I end up swapping leads on authors and titles with friends and family members, and even with people I meet on the street and the lady behind the desk at the post office.

So as other authors succeed, it makes it more likely that more authors will also succeed.

I’ve got three ebooks of my own slated for release this spring and summer, and it’s been an exciting, intimidating and sometimes just plain difficult roller coaster ride as I continue to prepare these manuscripts for e-publication. I’ve been Googling and reading high and low to learn more about the different options, the experiences of other authors, how to do e-marketing, etc., and I’m doing my darnedest not to just keep this information to myself, but to share it with others who might be interested in going this route, too.

I’ll be posting more on my website about my experiences — and successes and failures — as I push forward, in hopes that someone else can benefit, and to encourage you (that’s right — you!) to share your learned wisdom as well. And I’ll keep stopping by tables like the one Will set up at the grocery store and connecting with other writers wherever the opportunities present themselves.

Posted in thoughts from the spiral and tagged , , , .


  1. Please, keep me up to date on your experience with publishing eBooks. I recently took a publishing course (I go to North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, GA) in which we discussed the publishing process in full detail. Unfortunately, since eReaders are so new, we didn’t get to learn much about publishing in eBook format, and I would love to learn more.

  2. i’m interested to know if you discussed with him the measures he had to take to be permitted to set up shop there. i can’t imagine a store would simply allow authors to peddle wares on their property without some sort of compensation.

    • James:

      Yes, I did ask him about that. He wasn’t just poaching. 😉 You can ask him about the details, but he indicated that he had a whole network of these stores that he was visiting as part of a larger, planned marketing strategy. It sounded like a fair amount of work to set up and maintain, but it appears to be paying off for him.

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