There She Goes the Book-writing Man

Nope, I didn’t pull that title out of thin air, it was actually said to me at an anniversary party I went to last year for some friends of ours. Okay, so the guy wasn’t feeling any pain at the time, but even so— this from someone who isn’t your typical book buyer, or reader, for that matter. He seemed to be impressed that I had written a book. As a matter of fact, he mentioned earlier in the evening that his sister was reading my book to him since he couldn’t read.

It surprised me to discover that someone whom I wouldn’t think of as being interested in the fact that I am a writer actually was. It goes to show that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover… I know, that’s such a cliché, but still….

Seems as though, whenever I go out, I’m constantly being asked, “ Aren’t you the one who wrote the book?”  followed closely with a “When’s your next book coming out?” I usually smile and say I’m working on one, which seems to get them off my back please most people. Immediately their eyes light up and they produce a satisfied grin. I don’t bother to tell them that it might be years until they see anything tangible… It’s difficult to explain to people with little understanding of the publishing industry about wait times, and just the fact that you’ve written a book doesn’t necessarily mean someone will want to publish it. Still, it is nice to know that people are interested.

It’s like that when you live in a small place. Even people in neighbouring communities either know you personally, or recognize you as being so-and-so’s daughter, wife, sister, niece, cousin, friend, your co-worker’s mother, Sunday school teacher, etc. Sometimes, they want to support you for no other reason than that. It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.

I keep reading again and again that most books are sold by word of mouth, and while advertising helps, as do book trailers, having an online presence, etc, most of the books we buy/read are recommended to us by friends or family. It’s an interesting notion. When I stop to think of why I have read certain books quite often it is because they came with a glowing recommendation either from someone I know or from a review I’ve read. Perhaps there is something to that.

Last week I received a royalty cheque in the mail and, I was both surprised and delighted to think that copies of my book are still selling despite it not being promoted.  A book really only gets a few months of promotion until new titles come in to take their place. Seems unfair, but it also makes a lot of sense.

From the very beginning of this journey, I said I didn’t want it to be just about the money. I wanted it to be something so much more, and it is. The copies that have sold means that my words are reaching more and more people. Hopefully, it gives them something to reflect upon. One young girl wrote to tell me that my book taught her the importance of family, and to be strong. Can you imagine how wonderful that felt?

And so “the book-writing man,” will just keep writing away with the hope that someone will discover something worthwhile in her words. I’ve never felt that our worth should be measured only in a monetary sense (for money will come and go) but in our way of  touching the hearts and minds of others. Isn’t that what really counts?

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