I've discovered something as I go out in public and talk to people about my books and life in general:
People do NOT listen to the words that come out of their mouths.
|I wouldn't be caught dead READING!|
Hey, remember when only upper class men were allowed to read? And people suffered and died to get that right extended to women and people of color?
Yeah...so not wasted on some of the people walking past my booth!
But I digress. Most of the people who come by and check out my books are perfectly lovely, but really have no idea how to gracefully tell me they don't want to buy my books.
Here's a hint. Just say, "I'm not in the market to buy new books today."
No harm, no foul. And we part friends and you don't get put in the blog.
Some people try to make is seem like they read, but they wouldn't be caught dead reading anything I wrote.
"Oh I only read non-fiction."
|Yes, so much more intelligent than any fiction.|
I get asked a lot of questions about the publishing process, which is great. People seem interested in meeting an author, even if they would never read what I write. (The best was this last week when a man and his wife and daughter stopped and he saw my romance novels and said, "well, you two will have to fill me in on those books." I laughed. but my mom said, "Hey, you should read them It might get you going!" MOM!!!!!!!!!! The man laughed and said, "I'm not touching that!") I love answering questions and after doing the craft fair/farmers market circuit for two years I honestly thought I'd been asked every question that could be asked of an author.
Until this past Saturday.
It was early, so not too crowded and this woman stops in front of our booth. Now, to explain our booth, my mom does framed pictures made of old costume jewelry. Check her stuff out! And I, of course, write books. We have posters with our business names posted at our booth. She wears a tag that says, "ARTIST" and I wear one that says "AUTHOR." My mom has her framed out on the table and I have my books on the table.
It's not like we're hiding anything or trying to be secretive about what we do.
But this woman...she stood about three feet from our booth and stared at us for a full two minutes. I finally said, "Can I answer any questions?"
And that's when she laid it on me.:
"Oh, no. I'm just trying to figure out...what's the theme of your booth?"
Well...I've never been asked that before.
Probably because it's such a...well I do hate to call real people dumb. I mean, she seemed like a nice enough lady. But still...what is the theme of my booth?
"She sells art made out of old jewelry," I reply, trying to keep my cool. "And I sell books that I wrote."
"Oh," says she. "So the theme of your booth is....?"
Really? "The theme is books and art."
"Okay. Books and art." She nods as if I've just given her the answer to all of life's most difficult questions and then she walks away.
My mom and I looked at each other. I mean, what kind of reaction do you have when someone asks you what your Farmer's Market theme is? WE PUT OUR WARES ON A TABLE IN FRONT OF YOU!
The point of this all is, my friends, (and I should just add this to my short list of life advice), think about what you're going to say when you are trying to tell someone why you aren't going to buy something from them. I know in this big box world we're used to just walking out with out without buying something. Big box stores are faceless (in spite of the dozens of people that work there) and we have no compunction to explain why we aren't spending our money. But when we are face to face with the person who owns the store or made the art or wrote the book...we all have that horrible moment of verbal diarrhea. And to that I say, STOP and THINK.
Because hey, if you ponder what the words coming out of your face might sound like to another human, maybe, just maybe, you will avoid getting put in my blog.