My apologies to anyone that sells Amway--I'm not against it, per se, but it's not my thing. Was once; and I sucked at it and didn't get the vision of it all even if I did really like the product itself. The whole 'call everyone you know' and 'if you care about them you'll tell them about this product' just wasn't my bag.
As a writer, I'm constantly having to 'sell myself' not on a street corner or anything like that, but I do book signings, I tell people I'm a writer even though I know some of them will make squinty eyes at me. However, one thing I haven't ever done before now is try and schedule presentations.
I give a lot of them, several a month, but I am usually invited. A couple months ago I had a signing in Idaho and asked some of my mailing list people if anyone of them would like me to do a presentation in the area on my way home. I sent the request to 50 people and had two of them respond almost immediately. I ended up with a great presentation in Malad Idaho, a place I likely wouldn't have gone. The lady that set it up did a fabulous job putting it together and we had a great time.
So, with that in mind, when Julie Wright and I were planning our book tour we thought, sweet--we can do presentations! I mean, when will I ever be back in Lake Oswego Oregon again? But we'll be right there and what a fun opportunity for all of us, right. Right?
See, this whole promotion thing is a tricky little beast and while the Idaho presentation came together for me so smoothly, these other ones...not so much. When we call the stake leaders to tell them we're going to be in town they're a little suspicious. They don't seem to believe us when we say we aren't selling books, and when we try and tell them we're great presenters, well, they are even more convinced we are coming to sell books. Maybe this is because they don't have a lot of people come present? Or maybe we waited too long to send out the dates and so it seems like we're trying to sneak in. I don't know, but either way we're selling something they don't seem to want.
Kinda like soap.
It's been rather uncomfortable and although we've managed to line up dozens of book signings, and we have a couple presentations set up, it's looking like most of the cities we'll be hunkering in overnight are a-scared of us. Rather harsh on the old self-esteem, bringing me back to those Amway days...and Xango...and pre-paid Legal...and Malaluca (sp). So, instead of presentations, Julie and I might just have to go to movies, paint each other's toe nails and do Chinese fire drills around our rental car.
Sometimes, it seems, an invitation makes all the difference.
(However, if you assumed that we had them set up, we're still looking for events in Lake Oswego, Sacramento, LA, Mesa, and Thatcher--we would love for you to save us from ourselves!