Search this blog

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Unintentional Book Promo

Earlier today I played a gig at a small family festival in London. I took it upon to myself to bring my author copy of my newly published book
(which you can purchase here: with me.

I mentioned on stage that I had written a book and the lady who was introducing all the acts also mentioned it. Afterwards I walked around, buzzing with the adrenaline of performing, and told people about my book and let a few take pictures of it to see if they might like it.

There was a stall selling cheap paperback and hardback copies of books. I went up to the owner and showed her, feeling delighted, that I too had written a book. I asked if I could leave the book on the stall as a promotional tool to show people the book. I made it very clear that no one was to buy the book, it was purely on display. She said that was fine and didn't seem to have a problem with it. I also put a few of my business cards in front of the book so people could see more information about it.

You can see the problem with this. Clearly it wasn't fair of me to put the responsibility on the stall owners to make sure no one would buy the book. I should have asked someone I trusted to watch it for me, or stuck a sticker on it saying 'not for sale', or simply brought the proof copy I have at home that says 'not for resale'.

As you can imagine, around forty minutes later I realised the book was gone. Someone had bought it. For fifty pence. (I didn't get the money for it either, though to be honest I didn't ask). On Amazon UK it's listed at £6.99. I got really upset and annoyed, frantically wondering who had taken it, and then ran onto the stage and announced that someone had taken my book and could they please give it back to me or I'd be very angry.

Naturally I managed to calm down. People were very sympathetic, asking if I'd managed to get the book back. I didn't. Whoever bought it clearly left shortly after. I'm pretty sure I also saw the store holder gather up my business cards and either put them somewhere else, take them away, or she had left them there and people had come and taken them. (I have ordered new ones anyway with a picture of my book on it).

Clearly I understand my mistake. It was selfish and naive of me to expect busy stall holders to make sure no one took my book. I should at least have stuck something on it to say 'not for sale, promo copy only.' Running up on stage may not have been the best thing either, but while I was clearly annoyed I didn't throw a massive tantrum or blow it up. People were very understanding and felt bad for me.

However, I am aware that I have to see this as a good thing. Hopefully that person who bought my book will enjoy it and tell people about it. Whoever they are, I hope they get in contact with me if they enjoyed it to say they were there that day and they bought my book (not realising it wasn't for sale). I hope that at the very least this means my book will be circulating in some way and that I have managed to get some unintentional promoting from this incident.

Video I made talking about my book here:

No comments:

Post a comment

I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
I've also published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: