Wednesday, November 10, 2004

My Last Book Event

Last night I had what I think is my last event for this edition of The Pure Investor. It was at a library near my office on the suburban westside of Cincinnati. These things have not been a roaring success, but at least I tried.

I had three people this time which is a little light. The first was a client who shows up for everything. Very nice lady. If I had a hundred clients like her and her husband, I would be a happy advisor. The second was a lady who thought I would give her some good stock tips and let me know she was disappointed that I wouldn't. Maybe I was a little too blunt, but I asked her "Do you really think you'll get quality hot stock tips from some guy offering a free seminar on a Tuesday night in a public library in Cincinnati? Well, do ya?" She thanked me for my time. The final attendee was a stunning woman of about 25 who was finishing up her doctoral thesis in economics and worked for the local Federal Reserve bank regulatory arm.

I was done in an hour and have learned alot about promotion over the last year or so. Here are some of the more oddball:

The first is never leave the marketing up to someone else. Librarians are not a go-getter bunch. Many times they just forgot to put my event in their newsletter or they forgot to put up the posters I gave them. I pick on librarians but most people are the same. My event is just something in their day to get out of the way. It's all up to me - nobody and I mean nobody is going to help...or care.

Second, people say they want help with their money, but most simply don't. There's too much on t.v. to watch. You can't pry them away from that soft glow with a book event at the local library. However, since I announced my freelance reporter position, I've had lotsa calls from people who want exposure from their idea. A few of these people wouldn't return my phone call before. Ha!

Third, don't to a book event at a library during the winter in a urban area. All you attract are the homeless who are trying to get warm. I've never felt lower than when I was reviewing the missteps of the Federal Reserve during the 1930s to a couple of vagrants one of which had already fallen asleep using a copy of the collected works of William Shakespeare for a pillow.

Finally, people don't throw money at you just because you wrote a book. Often times they are intimidated and don't think they can ask you to work with "just them." I can. I will. There's nothing to be intimidated about. I just sat at home and pounded out some words over a couple of months.

All in all the whole book experience was good. I still have 10 on the shelf above my head here and I can order some more. So can you. Christmas is coming. I give them away. They are like an expensive business card I hand out.

It makes me feel better when I watch Booktv on C-Span 2 and see some nationally known author with a big publishing house with a million dollar ad budget speaking to 15 people at a Barnes & Noble in Northern Virginia. My own B&N event was cool, but come on, if a national book can't pull people in I should be happy with the 5-10 that I averaged.

Stay You.

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