Month: July 2015

The Value of a Book

Several years ago, I was part of the California Authors exhibit at the California State Fair. This one evening, I was seated next to my friend Phil Silver, a children’s book author who had two small books for sale. At one point, a man and his son (maybe four years old) stepped over. The man picked up one of Phil’s books and flipped through it. Then he turned to his boy and said, “Hey, would you like to get a book?”

The son seemed fairly disinterested, but the father continued to leaf through the pages before saying, “Are these free?”

Phil and I sat there in shock for a moment before Phil advised him that, no, they weren’t free, but seven dollars each or both for twelve (or something to that effect).

The man looked absolutely incredulous and said, “Seven bucks? For a book?”

He said this in all seriousness, then put down the book and escorted his son away… carrying a can of beer that I knew was selling at the fair for six dollars.

This is what’s wrong with America.

I regularly tell this story as an example not only of a massive parenting fail, but of society’s misplaced sense of value. A man will pay six dollars to enjoy a beer for maybe fifteen minutes, but be utterly appalled at the suggestion that a book was worth seven, even though it would likely give his son many hours of enjoyment.

This could not be more backward. I admit that the concept of “value” is somewhat subjective, but only a person dying of thirst should find more value in a beer than a book.

Posted by vmwales in Other Writers, Readers, 0 comments

It’s All About Marketing

Last month, I was one of the exhibitors at the Sacramento Wizard World Comic-Con. I had a table in “Artist Alley,” as I did last year. I do a few different such conventions each year, but this one is the largest of those.

As expected, I had great fun. I always enjoy meeting new people. And, obviously, I love it when people buy my books. But perhaps most of all, I love seeing the cosplayers and their often amazing costumes.

Nice kitty…?

The downside of being an exhibitor is not having the ability to attend the special events going on or getting to meet any of the celebrity guests.

Someday, my dear…

Then again, being always out on the floor has certain advantages. Like being randomly interviewed by SidewalksTV! Dyna and I were lucky enough to score about four minutes of facetime!

Click the pic to hear Dyna say mean things about me.

As you might expect, Dyna gets a lot more attention at these events than I do. And I’m really okay with that, socially awkward guy that I am.

I have a love/hate relationship with interviews. On the one hand, I enjoy being able to talk about my work, but on the other hand, I’d much prefer these interviews be in print, not on camera.

But I realize that interviews – and live appearances – are necessary. It’s all about marketing, as are this blog, my newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It’s not enough to produce a quality product, whether that product is a book, an automobile, or a salad dressing. People need to know about the products, too.

They say word of mouth is a great marketing tool, so if you’ve enjoyed my work, please tell anyone you think might also enjoy it. This socially awkward writer would appreciate it.

Posted by vmwales in Marketing/Promotion, 0 comments