You need not squirm as 36-packs of toilet paper whiz by and everyone ignores you. Get a game on. Here's how I triumphed in the hallowed halls of
2. When a shopper's eyes hit your poster and/or the desk full of books or much more rarely your face
3. You say "bookmark?" extending your arm fully toward them
4. With a radiant smile which
5. Six times out of ten will gain a positive response and as the person leans in a little to take the bookmark
6. You say "My novel came out in March." This clears up any confusion as to what sort of book this is and who the heck you are. There are so many sales people, demonstrators and sample-givers in Costco it just does not occur to shoppers that you are indeed the author. Which makes them smile and slow down a bit to congratulate you
7. While you say "It's set in Utah and Idaho and Oregon. It's a local story" which sinks the potential attraction in just a little deeper. Many people will push their giant shopping carts away smiling and reading the bookmark.
9. "It's the story of a middle-aged woman who dares to intervene in a young boy's suffering, changing both of their lives forever."
10. Then you feel good because you've delivered the nut at the heart of the story, and they feel good because everyone wants kids to be saved. They may read the book jacket, or the newspaper feature article you've laminated on blue craft paper while you babble on about truck stop tours and great reviews and what a fine present this would make for their favorite readers.
Yes, some buy the book. My first customer bought one and then another and another for her friends. She left with seven signed copies of Guest House.
How did I arrive at this foolproof method of speed-selling? The kindly vibrating lounge chair demonstrator across the aisle saw me sitting at my brightly festooned table, ignored, and walked over to save my afternoon. He said, “You may not naturally do this, talk to people, but I’ve been in sales my whole life and I talk to every person who goes by. Try working against your personality. Reach out to everyone.”
So instead of sitting behind the table, I stood up. And instead of waiting for people to come to me, I devised the above ten steps, literally reaching out to shoppers.
The results? Three hundred Guest House bookmarks are circulating in homes and cars and grocery carts in the Salt Lake Valley tonight. Sixty or so books went out the giant Costco doors with new readers. I am exhausted and my feet are sore but it's so much better than being a potato chip.