Okay, so I dragged my 54-year-old butt on two 90 minute college campus tours this weekend. That’s an hour and a half each time, for those of you that are averse to math problems. Three hours of walking over two days. With a 17-year-old. Nothing makes you feel older than the point where you grab your lower back and moan, “I’ve got to sit for a minute.” Oh, no, actually, I’m wrong. There is something worse.
We were walking around the University of Oregon on our tour, and our charming and wordy tour guide stopped to let us know that the building we were standing in front of was featured a great deal in the 1978 super comedy, “Animal House.” All of the parents made OOH and AAH noises, and we all squinted at the building to get a glimpse of something that looked familiar. Then we all looked at each other with expressions that spoke of great coolness in our general vicinity. Then I heard a mom say to her son, “that’s so cool that they filmed ‘Animal House’ here, and his reply? “What’s ‘Animal House’? Of course, much discussion ensued where this mother and I told him all the wonders and beauties of this classic movie, and told him that he needs to (choke) stream it when they get home. So I looked at this kid and I said, “Surely you’ve heard of ‘Stripes,’ right?” And he looked at me in confusion. At that moment, my age caught up to me and I turned to gray dust on the ground and later was blown in all directions by the four winds.
What? Kids don’t know about “Animal House?” What kind of world do we live in where this is not mandatorily shown to all Americal children when they enter high school? Like, they should be holding assemblies, and passing out hot buttered popcorn! I can sort of understand never seeing it, but never even having heard of it? That’s just outrageous. So, anyway, in my shock and dissolving into powder state, I still managed to market my new book to the mother. Here’s my line:
“So, you look like you might remember the ’80s…”
I’ve been using that one a lot. I went to a concert the other day with my husband, and I would say the average age of patrons in the place was 71. Not kidding. So I was pretty sure that most of the people there remembered the ’80s, or were in their 80s, either one. So I felt more safe saying it to them. But I’ve also been trying that line at other places. At the ramen place. I asked a woman if she was from the 80s, and then I realized that that statement might have been slightly offensive to her. It turns out she was, and I gave her my bookmark with all of my information on it and told her to buy my book. I’ve gone through quite a lot of bookmarks in the past two weeks, but I don’t know if they have let to any sales. Marketing is tricky.
I’ve tried other things, too. The picture above was taken at Oregon State University. I have apparently learned to photo shop, sort of. I have learned to create stickers to put on my pictures, and one of them is my book. So I am putting them everywhere. Not too bad, if you ask me. Looks like a sandwich board, right? I’m looking forward to what else I can stick my book into just for funsies.
I’ve been doing lots of videos on TikTok. I love it, it’s lots of fun. Then I also share the videos on Facebook and Instagram. I still don’t get Instagram. Out of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the only one where I have gotten tons and tons of solicitous messages trying to sell or review my book, in addition to the “hey beautiful, I couldn’t help but notice your smile” messages. I don’t really enjoy looking though Instagram either. Maybe it’s an old person thing? But I love TikTok. I don’t even care if anyone in China gets information on me about my book. Maybe I’ll have a market in China for my book. Probably not, though.
I’ve also been walking around with my book everywhere. I take it on walks, so I can pose it with the scenery. That’s fun. I’ve also posed by Kindle, open to my book cover. I take my book on the bus and train and when anyone asks me what I’m reading, or tries to talk to me in any way, I manage to ask them if they know who wrote the book I’m reading. Then I show them the author picture on the back. Then they get confused, because I’m wearing a mask and they can’t see my face, so I hold my breath and lift my mask for 5 seconds. Then they’re impressed? Impressed enough so they’ll buy my book? I don’t know. Jury’s still out. But it’s still pretty cool. I had two guys in the train talk to me for 15 minutes and then tell me they were proud of me for publishing my book. Someone else told me they wanted to tell me they were proud of me, but it would be weird. I immediately told them it wasn’t, and made them say it! Hey, I’ll take pride from strangers any time I can!
So, all that being said, I’ve sold 55 books on Amazon in the past two weeks. I’m not sure how I feel about that number, but I think it’s pretty good. There was another book released in the Coming of Age genre at the same time as mine called “I’ll Stop the World,” and it was published by Mindy Kaling. So it was number one for two weeks. How could I compete with that? Mindy Kaling? How do I get Mindy Kaling to publish MY books? But I was number 77 in coming of age new releases for about two hours, so that was nice.
So, how do I tie all of this information together? Well, here’s the thing. I’m old. I should retire soon, right? So I can write full time, and enjoy my happy “golden” years (I guess golden years come in about 10 years) but at the same time, I have a kid I need to send to college for the next four years. And right before I started to write this blog post, I looked up how much it would cost to send my daughter to college for four years, at an in-state rate. And guess what? It’s a whole lot! So, in conclusion, buy my book. Buy a few. Buy one for yourself, and one for your sister. Buy one for your mother, your aunt, your daughter (over the age of 16 please) and even for your uncle or son. People seem to like it. All sorts of people. You’ll buy 10-12 copies of my book for Christmas and birthday presents this year, and then when I put out book 2, you’ll be looking forward to buying that one too. And just think, the more you buy, the more you’re helping put my daughter through college without me having to get a third and fourth job. Wouldn’t that be nice? And it’s really a good read. Check it out on Amazon. I’ve already got 6 five-star reviews! Okay, maybe I might know most of the people who reviewed it, but some of them, not too well. They didn’t have to do a review, and they did. And I’m also on Goodreads. Just so you know.
As always, thank you for reading my blog to the end.
My book, “May I Have Your Attention Please” can be found on Amazon, in both paperback and ebook! I plan to release my second book, “I Just Can’t Say I Love You,” in September 2023. Please check it out, and if you do read my book, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It would mean a whole lot!