This past weekend following my shift at my day job I jumped on a plane and flew up to Seattle, Washington. It was a trip with multiple purposes. I wanted to attend a book show that was being put on for Indie authors like myself. It was important to me to go and see a show that was just starting because I am working hard to help plan one as well. I also was of course attending to sell my books as an author working to promote my work.
On a more personal note I also went to finally meet some of the authors I have known online for years but had never seen in person. It was an incredible learning experience even though it was not financially lucrative it was a trip I wouldn't trade. Even though I have been writing for many years and published for the last two and a half years I am still in the infant stages of the doing this as a business.
Some of my friends are much further along in the learning curve so by getting the chance to sit down and speak with them I was able to get some ideas of things they are doing to be successful and ways I can reach out in order to get better exposure. Some of the things I found was that working with a partner at the table not only makes the time more enjoyable and go by faster but it truly is easier to work in tandem to sell each other's books instead of just your own. I read recently in a book written by authors I met at the show that is all about working shows exactly like that. They wrote about being able to cross sell and I noticed that it really was easier to talk about other books I had read and recommend them as well as answer any questions about my own work.
Just as the organizers learned from feedback and observations of the event I tok note of things that worked and ideas that could be improved upon as well. I also found some things I need to learn how to do such as creating teasers and posting promotions more often for my current books. I need to readjust my name on my covers in order to make it stand out more, and I badly need to find a way to get more reviews to help make my work visible.
I discussed with my good friend Chelo that it is important to have honest reviews so if there are things that need to be fixed I would be aware of them. Because of that I want to find honest reviewers and get as much feedback as I can to help me improve my craft. There was also a discussion about the difference between being a professional and being a hobbyist. There is nothing wrong with either but for me wanting to be a professional it is vital that I keep learning and improving my abilities. It was been an extremely fruitful trip and one I am looking forward to doing again as soon as possible.