Friday, December 5, 2014
I'll be wrapping today at Barnes & Noble! Or is it rapping?
If it’s been too long since anyone’s made real eye contact while giving you a friendly smile, please stop by the Greensburg Barnes & Noble from 10 to 2 p.m. or from 3 to about 7 p.m.
I’ve been invited to be there to sell books by being what I was told is a “guest wrapper.”
At least I hope it’s wrapper.
If it’s rapper, I think the store and its customers are in a lot of trouble.
Of course, if rapping sells books, I’ll rap. I’ll do what ever it takes.
But I’ve found a eye contact and a friendly smile often does the trick.
Some people, especially during this holiday season, are reluctant to make eye contact. They’ll think I’m trying to sell them a book.
They are mistaken.
I’m trying to sell them multiple books.
In many cases I’ll succeed.
By now, I have a strong and authentic pitch about why everyone should buy copies of “Use All The Crayons!” for themselves and the people for whom they’re buying gifts.
The best thing about this year, book-wise, is I had a real breakthrough in becoming an entertaining public speaker. And that, these days, is key to selling books.
The best was in June when I was invited to address 250 West Virginia University 4-H students and I brought the house down.
Honest. I’d never spoken to a group of more than 50 prior to that. But a woman who heard me speak at the Greensburg library to a group of about 15 one snowy February day thought my humor and my message would be perfect for her students. I was very nervous.
Still, it went great. They were very enthused by what I had to say.
Of course, that wasn’t good enough for me. I’d in advance arranged for one of the audio/visual students to film the whole thing. So what I said mattered little.
What mattered was how they’d react to what I said. I needed to have them being filmed giving me a tremendous ovation.
That’s why on the way down I dreamed up the idea to orchestrate a second ovation.
So as they were applauding my conclusion, I held up my hand in interruption and said, “I’m filming this for promotional reasons. So I’m going to do the last 30 seconds over again — and this time I want you to go out of your minds. I want you to react like you think I’m Oprah and I’ve promised you each a brand new car.”
And that’s exactly what happened. You can check it out right here. It’s very funny.
That clip’s earned a lot of attention and I’m using it and others to propel me in my quest to secure other speaking engagements. Really good money in that. Plus, as at the WVU thing, and sold them 250 books before I set foot in the door.
My goal is to get one of those every two weeks or so by mid 2015. I think I finally see a path to solvency and it starts in my mouth.
What’ll I get out of today? If I sell 30 of the 40 books the store is stocking, I’ll be thrilled. It’ll be a long day, but it’ll be a lot of fun. I’m a joyful mingler.
And I’m serious about the eye contact. I try not to read or look distracted.
But even if you’re shy about eye contact and have no interest in buying a book, I do think you should stop by.
I’m bringing Christmas cookies!
And who knows?
There’s still a chance you’ll get to hear me rap.
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