I Never Could Have Been a Fuller Brush Salesman

At a book signing last year

Being older than dirt, I actually remember enterprising door-to-door salesmen pushing vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias. They were invariably cheerful and perseverant folks who brushed off the inevitable “no thanks” they got along the way to making a sale.

All I can say is I would have made a terrible salesperson. Take the other day, for example. After a couple of fairly successful book signings at Barnes and Noble locations, I attended a “spring fling book bash” at a local winery. The day was gorgeous, the ambiance of the winery was wonderful, and the organizer of the event and the other new authors I met were delightful.

There was just one problem. I sold absolutely nothing! Not one book. Customers, wine glasses in tow, drifted right past my display without giving it more than a passing glance. Hey! I felt like screaming. I worked hard on these novels. They’re good books!

My friend and fellow author assured me I’d been “very friendly.” That didn’t help. After three hours of striking out on selling my creative work, all I wanted to do was retreat to my office and forget venturing out in public.

I know I’m not alone in discovering that just because I can write a novel doesn’t mean I’m any good at selling it. In fact, the bestseller at this particular signing was about do-it-yourself book promotion! It was snatched up by the attending authors.

Over the years, I’ve had folks tell me they can’t imagine writing a whole book. Well, all I can say is that I can’t imagine a career in sales.

I have a whole new appreciation for those brave salesmen who knocked on door after door of my childhood neighborhood.





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