A Visit to Squirrel Hill

I made a trip to the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh yesterday. What a wonderfully exciting place. Unique shops, fun people of all ages and many new things to see.

As always I had plenty of Jasmine cards to pass out. These are business cards with an introduction to Jasmine, a quick summary, as well as where to go to order the book.

I’ve been passing these out to nearly all women I see when I’m out and about. The introduction of “Hi, I’ve just published my first novel” and a quick thrust of the card is usually met with a moment of pause then a “Congratulations!” followed by some level of conversation. It is a wonderful time for me and I get to meet so many new people.

It’s unfortunate where men have brought women over time. The initial reaction is always one of fear. “OMG a strange man is speaking to me!” can be seen in the eyes of the woman. Once my words sink in, she quickly changes and 99% are immediately curious about an author. I cannot imagine what it must be like for a John Grisham. I do not yet have a “fan” base and am already addicted to the feel one gets when discussing their creation with someone else. I guess I would liken it to the feelings parents have when they display their child to the world for the first time.

I meet a wonderful lady in her 60s that had the most enchanting eyes. A deep dark blue that just seemed to capture my gaze and draw me in. I will remember these eyes and some time in the future will create a character with these enchanting eyes.

I still have not been able to crack the Barnes & Noble wall. They are not very friendly to independent authors. The business of book selling seems to get in the way. There is an issue with them. Even the local store is required to purchase books only through book distributors which is difficult and costly to a new author. Adding this additional layer of cost will bring the royalty one receives from a sale down from a couple of dollars to about $0.35 per book. Hardly worth the effort of writing the book. Of course if you are a John Grisham and selling millions of books, the money adds up quickly. Well, I’m only whining now.

I’ve entered the realm of Facebook. Jasmine has a page, be it a bit crude, but she has a page. I need to improve my skills in the area of social networking and get more interest in my book. Right now I’m converting about 5% of my contacts into sales. Doing this face to face will never produce a winning effort. I need to somehow get the word out to the masses on the internet. Turning 5% of 100,000 contacts into sales creates enough of a revenue stream to make my writing more than just a hobby.

Wish me luck and thank you all for visiting my site.