After an unplanned hiatus, I am back, hopefully with some consistency. Mother’s Day, the long weekend at the cottage, and the fallout from the big garage sale / birthday party sleepover have occupied my last few Sundays, but I think things are back to normal now.
The garage sale actually got me thinking about this week’s blog post. As I stood on my driveway in front of tables upon tables of our unwanted or not-so-useful stuff (seriously, we had a set of fireplace tools – and we don’t have a fireplace!) the goal was simple: get rid of it. ALL of it. If it was in the garage sale pile there was a 0% chance it was making it back into our house. Anything that didn’t sell was to be immediately packed up and donated to Value Village (who support local nonprofits in our city).
|Photo by Stuart Miles at http://freedigitalphotos.net
When you’re in this situation it’s important to keep your eye on the goal, which is to get rid of your stuff. The goal is not to make as much money as possible off your stuff. If there was anything that we thought we could get real money for we put it aside and are going to sell it on Kijiji. This is a situation where everybody wins. We make a little bit of cash for our stuff, lots of people get things they think they want or need for really cheap, and Value Village gets a bunch of donations (where they are turned around and sold for really cheap, with the proceeds helping local organizations).
One thing I noticed about the garage sale shoppers was they almost all had the same thing in common, and that was the desire to get whatever they wanted for as cheap as they could without it being considered stealing. As such, a whole lot of things sold for one dollar. It didn’t matter what it was either, a buck was the magic number. In some cases, it was four things for a dollar (like books) or two for a dollar (like RCA cables for a stereo), but the magic number was clearly a dollar.
That got me thinking about books.
A very popular price point for books on Amazon is 99¢. Which, if you’re buying a full-length novel is a spectacularly good price. More popular still though? FREE. Yup, as it turns out giving stuff away for free is still popular with consumers. It won’t pay the bills, but it could end up working in your favour in the long run. If you have a series of books, for example, having the first one free is a great way to get people hooked on your product and coming back for more, dollars in hand. Drug dealers have been using this tactic for decades except writers are selling a different kind of fantasy. Robert Chazz Chute is taking this approach for his Hit Man books (great stories featuring a hit man by the name of Jesus Diaz) and I’d recommend you read the first in the series Bigger Than Jesus and see if it strikes your fancy (I downloaded the first one for free, bought the second one right away, was a beta reader for the third, and I loved them all).
Another way to get people hooked on your stuff is to write a serial. As Will Van Stone Jr. explains on Kate Tilton‘s website, a serial can be a great way to highlight your creative storytelling ability, and more importantly, your character development (things much more difficult to do in short fiction). This segues nicely into one of the other reasons I’ve been quiet on the blog lately. I was picked up by the OCH Literary Society to write for them. My task, aside from some occasional blogging? Serial fiction. *gulp*
Well, as my last post (and my first blog post for OCH) mentioned I had an idea so it was time to have the rubber hit the road (or fingers to hit the keys, as it were) and get started on it. I spent the first half of the month working on it and as I got deeper and deeper into the first installment I began to see, in a practical sense, what Will Van Stone Jr. explained in his article. People who read this blog have an idea of my writing style, but what they’re reading is mostly first person non-creative stuff. With the OCH serial, I have been given an opportunity to not just hone my skills in the creative fiction arena, but also showcase my style, storytelling ability, and character development to a larger audience. As nervous as this makes me, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t totally pumped.
I’ve got stuff that I’ll sell you for a dollar later in the year (and the years that follow), but for now, have a read. It’s a few thousand words every few weeks, and its’ free. The only thing I can’t promise is that it won’t be addictive.
|The Book of Good: Installment 1