Approval. How far will you go to get it?

I have to totally give Kristen Lamb credit for the idea of this post.  You can read her take here.

The past month has been very interesting. I have never liked sales – in any form or fashion. When I was younger, the school fundraisers they forced on us students would languish on our kitchen counter until the due date. My parents might buy something, more than likely not. I hated every time those darn things were passed out. I left a decent job with fantastic benefits because they made us sell.

To give you an idea of how I feel, this was my Facebook post the other day:  I feel like a freaking crack dealer! Psst. Hey, the books are in. Cool! Where are we meeting? I’ll find you. Got the dough? Yeah. See ya ’round.

How does this tie into Kristen’s post about approval? Well, it’s a little convoluted, so bear with me. I find myself in a position where I’m the one strictly in charge of promoting sales. As a writer, once I made the decision to publish, the topic of sales came up. A few people asked me if I would be upset if they didn’t buy my book. I still don’t think they believe me when I said no. I write romance, there’s still a stigma attached to the genre. I know not everyone either reads romance or reads period. And I’m fine with that. There are certain genres I won’t read because they don’t hold my interest. If everyone had the same interests, life would be extremely boring.

For me, the number of sales do not equal approval. I’m not writing these stories to gain anyone’s approval or adulation or praise. If you enjoyed the story and want to tell me, I’ll appreciate it and listen. I put my stories out there because they wanted to be written and I hope they will bring happiness to at least one person. If that happens, I’m a happy person. Everything beyond that is gravy. I’m looking forward to going to book stores and conferences and market days because I’ll get to meet new readers. First and foremost, I’m a reader.

If they like me or the book premise enough, hopefully they’ll buy. I don’t like the idea of constantly beating everyone over the head with “BUY MY BOOK!” “READ MY BLOG!” I put myself out there, do minimal promotions and leave the rest to my readers. Is it the best way to sell my books? Probably not. Do I care? Not at the moment. What do I hope to gain from that approach? Maybe approval from my friends and readers that I didn’t constantly lambast them with sales pitches.

Is there someone you constantly try to gain approval from? Or are you brave enough to venture out and do something because it pleases you?

Melanie

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