Monday, April 2, 2012

Thinking Outside the Box

If my less than stellar mathematical skills in high school and college were a tale-tale sign of my future then I should’ve known thinking outside of the box was right up my alley. On each math exam or quiz I groaned at the sight of a box with algebraic equations, L x W x H, or whatever else they could come up to torture me with. My issue wasn’t so much the math itself but the fact there sat a space confined within four sides. No way did I want to be in the center of that. I’d prefer to be on the outside of it exploring what else was going on. 

While this method of thinking doesn’t fare so well with math, it does when it comes to selling books. When I first ventured out I did the usual—set up book signings at bookstores and libraries. These turned out pretty well considering most unknown authors sell 4-5 books at these. I sold 45 in my home town but everywhere else I prayed to get 10. I did this for my first year, and then it dawned on me. I see people reading everywhere. So why not have signings at places other than book stores and libraries?

I started out at my desk at work. Co-workers. Why not? They always asked me to buy something their kids were selling. And, in most cases my books were by far cheaper. I made a form just like their kids had and emailed it and passed it out. Before long people were stopping by my desk on their breaks. As years passed I found more and more things to do. The most recent, a conference that had absolutely nothing to do with literacy. While at the conference this past weekend not only did I sale close to a hundred books in two days, but it opened the doorways to more conferences and with the marketing material I stuck inside the book after signing I am sure to pick up more sales. 

So, to those who only think inside the box prepare to be disappointed. But, to those who dare to be dance to your own tune be prepared to soar. It may not happen overnight, but if you keep at it it will. Good luck.

O. Keeys

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