Today I decided to finally put some effort into selling and marketing my children’s book, Albert the Elephant. After six months of avoiding it, I finally went to a children’s book shop in Yarraville to see if they would like to sell my book on consignment. I was quite nervous and procrastinated all morning by designing a consignment note to take with me. When I finally got there I met a lovely lady called Deb who not only agreed to take on my book but had a standard consignment note and agreed to take a lower commission than I had suggested. What a lovely lady! She supported me and my book because I am a local author, however warned me that books by independent authors do not usually sell well.
I left there feeling quite excited about having my book in a children’s book shop and ventured on to the next place, yet there was a little niggling feeling that left me a bit flat as well because I realised that most people buy books from already well known authors and publishers that are mainly overseas based.
The next shop told me that they do not take books on consignment and didn’t even take a look at my book.
Now a little bit of history into the making of this book. I poured my heart and soul into this book and Albert, to me, is a very loving character. He is very real to me, like a real live character. This book was designed to help children overcome perfectionism and is real in the sense that it was not created purely to suit a market. It was not swished up so that it would attract buyers with its bright colours and it was not mass produced in China. It was printed in Melbourne and created from my heart to help children who feel that what they do or who they are is not good enough. This may not be a problem in the very young, although it was with my son who used to screw up all of his pictures and throw them in the bin. However, it is an issue I see again and again in adults, including myself, where they feel that they cannot draw or create because they are ‘no good’ at this. So many adults have told me that they wish they could draw or paint, yet they feel they are not creative in any way. Well, quite frankly, I think this is rubbish! Excuse the pun! WE are all creative. WE can all draw. WE can all paint. WE all create things every day in our lives and we all have our own unique style of creativity. It is only when we compare that style to others, who we judge as better than us, that we feel we are not good enough.
This left me with a dilemma of how best to market my book as I am determined to buck the trend and find a way to communicate the benefits of supporting local businesses and creators, to find a way to share a product created with love and to help people to connect with that love. I am looking for a way to share what I do in a way that is not manipulative or insincere and find a way to connect with the right people who value something made with love. If you have any ideas, please let me know!