Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Are You Asking Questions and Getting Answers?

At the recent Colorado Book Festival, I had the opportunity to meet the Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper.  The Governor was the opening speaker at the Festival and also signed copies of his new memoir, The Opposite of Woe I watched him interact with readers and admired his broad stroked signature and how he personalized each book during the event. I noticed his writing on the title page of each book matched the style of printing on his book cover. In fact, I made a comment about it and he said that he had pushed the publisher in the production process about this very element—to make sure it matched.

In a lull in his book signing, I asked Governor Hickenlooper a question, “If I give you a copy of my book, would you read it?”

Governor Hickenlooper gave an honest answer, “Terry, probably not. I'm severely dyslexic and only read about four books a year.” As a life-long reader and book person, I found the information surprising. You can see some of the books that I've recently read or heard on my Goodreads book page. Every government official must have stacks of material to be reading but he has found another way to succeed.

“Governor, is your book available on audio?”

Absolutely,” he said, “In fact I spent six or seven hours recording my book.” I was intrigued with The Opposite of Woe but decided not to purchase the physical book but to get the audio version through Overdrive. This conversation took place in the main Denver Public Library yet the Governor's book wasn't available at this library. I continued searching and found it at another Colorado library.  I've started listening to his book and will soon complete it. I was impressed with the Governor's honest answer and exchange.

The experience made me think about my newest book, Billy Graham, A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist. The book has been out for a year and continues to sell and be well-received. When I speak with other writers, they will often ask me about the book sales and if I'm happy with them. I respond that like every author I would like to sell more books and how I'm continuing to promote and work at telling new people about the book.

I've received great feedback about Billy Graham. If you check the link, you will see the endorsements from some easily recognized leaders and the book has 45 reviews on Amazon. I'm grateful the book is out in the bookstores and continuing to sell. You can hear this recent radio interview about the book and see that I'm continuing to promote the book. This process is what every author has to do to continue to reach readers. Am I “happy” with the sales? No so I don't blame anyone or complain. Instead I redouble my efforts to create new opportunities to expose others to the book. It is the journey of every active author.

What about your writing life? Are you “happy” with your book sales? If not, look for new opportunities to reach new readers. As one of my writing teachers told me years ago, “writers are surrounded by a sea of ideas. The key is which idea you develop and move forward.” 

I hope you are asking questions and getting answers in your own writing life. I also hope you've learned some important tips from my own experiences. If I can help you, don't hesitate to reach out to me and ask. My work contact information is at the bottom of the second page of this link. Asking questions is one of the best tools any writer has to move forward.


Are you asking questions and getting answers? Learn from this writer's experiences. (ClickToTweet)

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