"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"

"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."

"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."

- Rumi

Friday, July 22, 2011

Taking Pride in One's Work

I'm sure at this point many of you know that I've got a couple of eBooks available for purchase on Amazon for the Kindle reader. I've been promoting it pretty hard, because frankly, I'd  love to be selling enough of my eBooks to be able to give up the "day job" and devote myself completely to writing and storytelling.  In order to get to that point, I have also be a sales man about my work, and at this stage of my career, I have to be pretty aggressive in my sales approach.  I'm low in the Amazon ranks, so people aren't going to stumble across my works just flipping through Amazon.  I haven't earned enough "street cred" to get myself a blog tour yet, but I'm getting there - I hope.  But the bottom line is that, yes, I have to sell the books myself, and that means that if I know you, I'm probably going to try and sell a book to you.

Back when I was a sales manager, I took a lot of sales seminars and listened to a lot of audio sales tapes. One of the underlying messages in all of them was, "Be a product of the product."  I am a great salesman - as long as I believe in the product I'm selling.  At one former place of employment, I was the top sales person for ten quarters in a row - that's two and a half years.  In other places, I couldn't sell a darn thing.  Those positions didn't last very long. But as long as I believe that what I'm selling has value, I will somehow also find people who will also find value in it and get it into their hands.

I love my eBooks. I think they're great.  I know they aren't for everyone, because everyone has different reading tastes.  However, I'm proud of the two books I've written and the one I was asked to co-write.  I will sing their praises.  I believe in my heart that I have put out quality products.  I believe in the value that they will bring to people's lives.

Here's the problem: I've had some people jokingly, and not so jokingly, get down on me for being overly proud of my work.  They seem to think, or at least intimate, that I shouldn't take pride in the hundreds of thousands of words I've written while honing my craft, not to mention the degree I earned.  Well, I do.  And when asked if I can recommend something to read, I'm going to point to my writing first.  And why shouldn't I?  If I was a contractor, and someone needed house repairs, of course I'm going to give them my card.  If I'm a web designer, and someone needs a new website, of course I'm going to offer my services. I could go on, but I believe I've made my point.

I know other independent writers who have mentioned things like this also.  One even stopped promoting herself as hard as she was and had noticed a decline in sales.  That's dumb.  People will come up with a bajillion reasons why you can't do something, especially if it flies in the face of tradition.  Let's face it, the indie publishing thing is ruffling a lot of feathers amongst publishers and readers a like.  Ignore the voices that cry out "no!"

Hello! I write as M. Todd Gallowglas you can find my books here:
First Chosen (Tears of Rage)
The Dragon Bone Flute
Knight of the Living Dead (3 Strange Knights)
I'm proud of the work I put into them. You should get them. Yes, I want the royalty so I can retire and give up this life of crime; however, more than that, I believe each work is an entertaining read, and you will enjoy the time you spend within each story.

Happy Friday everyone!  Happy Reading!

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