Preserving by the Pint has now been out for nearly three months and I’ve been promoting it actively since March 14 (a whopping 11 days before it was “officially” published).
The lessons from this book cycle have been many. As I am perched at the mid-point of the tour, I thought I’d take a few minutes to write down some of what I have learned in the hopes that I don’t have to learn these exact things again.
- Free grocery store demos aren’t a good use of my time. They take up at least half a day and no matter how much I smile and offer samples of jam, I end up talking to just a few people and selling no more than four copies of the book.
- People will sign up for classes at grocery stores like Whole Foods, but it’s time to stop doing them for free.
- Farmers markets, on the other hand, are nearly always a success, particularly in the earlier part of the season.
- A morning show demo a day before a farmers market is an amazing way to move 40+ books in a 2-4 hour period.
- Libraries almost always make good partners. Best of all, they often have programming budgets (and even if they don’t, I still like supporting what they do).
- Whenever possible, include a copy of the book in the price of an event.
- Contact bookstores at least four months in advance of the tour.
- Before pulling away from an event, make sure to inventory all equipment. This prevents me from leaving behind frying pans and wide mouth funnels.
- Unless I’m traveling through a distant part of the country on a dedicated tour, no week should contain more than 4-5 events.
- If a weekend has events on both days, commit to taking off either Monday or Friday. Otherwise it stops being fun.
- Remember that it’s okay to say no. It is impossible to make everyone happy all the time. And when I try to please the world, I am the one who suffers.
- Pay heed to the gut. If someone approaches with an excessively pushy attitude or treats me without basic respect, do not work with them. It will not be fun.
- Remember that not every waking hour should be a working hour. Leave time to live, read, eat, and move.