We’re nearly done with our sales drive to benefit ProLiteracy – a super awesome organization dedicated to promoting literacy, in the United States and around the world – and I’ve learned plenty of lessons. First and foremost, I feel pretty excited to be doing something good. There is no equivocation or irony or conditional responses involved; this is a good thing, for a good group. Corollary to that, I need a better word than ‘good.’
But a bigger, maybe more important lesson to take from this is that other people like it too. I know, it seems like a no-brainer, right? Obviously people appreciate it when someone acts in a selfless way – especially when it does the whole world a tiny bit of good. However, I didn’t anticipate there would actually be an immediate sense of success. Of course, that is much different than actual success, but I’ll take what I can get right now.
I’m sure there are greater lessons to take away from this experience and I’m sure that as we dissect the hows and whys of it all they will come to us. I know it’s a terrible thing to admit, but I don’t feel good at this whole ‘marketing’ thing. Yes, I find it easy to talk to people – about almost anything, it seems. And yes, I really love the work we’re putting out, which makes me want to stand up and push it in your face. But I think the thing that has been bothering me (or blocking at the very least) is the idea that it is somehow all about money. When I read that last sentence it makes me cringe a bit – of course it should be about money, at least to some degree.
Maybe I just need to separate the idea of me making money off of this work, from the success of the work itself. I know from my research into marketing independent and self-publishing that this is a big hurdle for many authors. Perhaps I just took it for granted that it wouldn’t affect me, since I’m not selling my own writing? Perhaps I am a soft-headed fool who ought to attend a few more writer’s workshops? Hm.
I’ve gotta say, I’m very grateful to the folks out there who have picked up some of our books today. As much as I hope they enjoy the works, I really hope it inspires some people to do something similar. It certainly has changed the way I’ve been thinking about my job. And it really does feel pretty damned sweet to pass on our piece of the pie to a well-deserving organization.
Happy day-after-Christmas! And happy several days before New Year! Cheers!
When Patrick Jennings-Mapp isn’t working out his own, personal issues through his official work blog, he’s chasing his children through the house, much like a tornado chases trailer parks. Real tornadoes don’t make as much noise as he does though.