I had a thought. I sold quite a few books this weekend at the Los Angeles Times Book Fair, more than I figured I would. But Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, and Harlan Coban—name brand authors—sold hundreds more than I did. Long lines formed wherever they appeared and their hands were a blur as they scribbled their names on the flyleaf of their latest masterpiece. But here's where I got them beat. Each one of the nice people who bought my book, with only a few exceptions, was new to my work. I made new fans and they each walked away with, not only a copy or two of a Jimmy O'Brien saga, but a business card, a bookmark, and a handshake. People who waited in the long lines for Connelly and company would've bought their books anyway. And, no one, when facing their literary idol, would say, "Okay, Michael, just what is this book about?" or "Hey, what kind of name is Hieronymus, anyhow?" The lines had to keep moving.

Although, the big guys sold a lot more books than I did, I had more fun, I'm sure. I talked to each one of my new fans, telling them about my characters, or the plot, maybe the setting, and most of them promised to send me an email, giving their opinion of my story when they were finished reading my book. Yeah, I had a lot of fun.

Oh, one more thing my new fans walked away with, a heartfelt thanks.

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Well said, Jeff. Though I wouldn't mind seeing some of those long lines waiting for me one day.
Aw, Sue Ann, people would be foolish not to line up for a few of your books. From what I saw and read, you were one of the best writers at the festival. And, I do know personally that your books sell in the thousands. Thanks for the comment!
You'll get 'em Sue Ann. Fans, groupies, cabana boys. The whole magilla. You have to. I've got money ridin' on ya.

I had the same experience this past week at Romantic Times BookLovers Convention in Houston. Of course, my situation was a little different. I went to speak on forensic science, and, as a consequence was promoting my reference books for writers like Making Crime Pay. Well, anyway, I drove down with Charlaine Harris who has a vampite series that was just optioned by HBO, and was surrounded by a whole host of fiction authors who were just making their pens fly.

I did a good job on my presentation (I was a "panel" of one!) and made a lot of friends in the process. So when my suspense does hit the market, the networking of friends may just help me out.

We persist.


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