Tuesday, January 10, 2012
It is said personality counts. And it does as well on the book front.
Whether at a bookstore, art or craft fair or promoting your book on Facebook are you not drawing people in with your personality? Without one-to-one contact, would you have made that sale?
I doubt it. Even your family or friends bought your book because they knew you. Keep in mind whether selling your wares online or in more intimate settings. People are interested in you and what you have to offer.
My book, Seasons of the Soul, relates to autistic parents, those struggling with issues or those interested in the topic. With book in hand, I approach customers providing them a short synopsis of my uplifting book. I peak their curiosity with a story in Seasons of the Soul where my youngest autistic son runs out of the plane while we waited for takeoff, causing the flight’s delay. Andrew’s anxiety got the better of him. From there, I tell the potential buyer about my book and how it includes personal accounts about my two different autistic sons as well as faith stories. “If interested, visit my table. I will be here from ...” I conclude.
So what did I do there? Raised their interest yet not pressured them. Again, personality talks and a pressure-cooker salesman dooms a sale.
Second, smile. Yes, it is not easy but think of it this way. A smile may lighten the heavy load you are carrying. A friend of mine works in retail. When customer lines are long or they complain, the clerks are told to smile. That goes even when the associates’ feet hurt from standing. Smile. Remember a smile masks the feet aches and possibly the stinky smell reaching your nostrils.
Third, eye contact. You cannot expect customers to purchase something from you if you are looking at the floor. Self-confidence in your abilities - even when you doubt your talents at times - does wonders.
Did you know people also can pick this up online? “I hope readers will like this,” you post. What this says is you are not confident about yourself. Turn that phrase into: “I know you will love this.” You are not bragging. You are showing c o n f i d e n c e. Underneath you may wonder if you are overestimating your abilities but if you do not believe in yourself, how can you expect others to do the same?
Four, attractiveness. How you portray yourself online to the arrangement of your table to your own appearance makes a distinct impression.
Thumbnail photos make your Facebook or Twitter posts. Some Facebook friends include photos where their hair is in disarray or you have little idea what is pictured. A reader needs to know, otherwise, they see your presence as unprofessional.
If you are selling personally at an art or craft fair, make your table display simple but attractive. Show a book award (but do not exhibit everything you received), cover your table with a bright cloth and use a vertical backdrop behind you if outside winds are not a problem.
Lastly, you are important. Make your appearance professional and clothing appropriate. I wear skirts or dresses often. I want the customer to see me as an author with stature and at some chamber of commerce events I wear my hat. I stand out and when I fail to wear one people ask, “Where’s your hat?” It is my trademark. What’s yours?
I look forward to your comments and may God richly bless you.
Janet Syas Nitsick is the author of "Seasons of the Soul," published by Tate Publishing. Visit her blog at http://janetsinnerramblings.blogspot.com