the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

And I always thought writing was hard work…

on March 27, 2012

On one the most beautiful days of this year, I was in Waterstones, Dorchester selling copies of The Rosemary Project. The anthology comprises poetry and prose by writers from across Dorset and all money raised goes towards  Alzheimer’s Research and Mindful (which supports a memory cafe in North Dorset). Although The Rosemary Project was the branch best-seller for the day, I only managed to sell eleven copies.

I thought the task would be easy as the book is well presented, has an attractive cover and only costs £5.  It’s possible that choosing the third Saturday in the month, when perhaps people are waiting for the next payday was against me.  And the warm weather meant the shop was incredibly quiet.  Yet, I am undeterred – I’m planning to approach Waterstones in Bridport to see if I can sell some more copies. I hope I don’t reduce another customer to tears by talking about the project (it was the anniversary of her mother’s death and when I harped on about the herb rosemary being an aid to memory, I touched a nerve). 

A big thank you to the staff at Waterstones, especially Wendy who made all the arrangements.  I was given a  table right by the till (very useful for chatting to people in the queue) and offered tea at regular intervals.

Here’s a copy of the anthology.  I’ve opened it to the page where my piece of flash fiction Walk Over Me appears.  It’s a story that considers the ‘inner child’ and I was really chuffed when a counselling tutor contacted me to ask if she could share this with her students. I’m also hoping to read the story at an event in Southampton to celebrate National Flash Fiction Day.  Details appear here. If you would like to purchase a copy of The Rosemary Project please telephone David Wall (project co-ordinator) on 01747 854108.

13 responses to “And I always thought writing was hard work…

  1. Good luck with the anthologies. I am sure small beginnings do grow. Gift shops?

  2. Julie Musk says:

    So now you know how it feels to be a publisher! It’s hard work persuading people to buy. Well done, 11 copies sold in a local bookshop signing isn’t bad. You’re right, selling books is hard, especially these days with people watching what they spend. Don’t be too disappointed – you did well.

  3. Beryl says:

    Welcome to the world of retail, Gail!

    When you are taught to sell you are told to sell the benefits of the product, not the product itself eg. This is something you can dip in and of; something you can pick up and read a complete story while you are having a cup of coffee; (in arty Bridport) a variery of different writers and a wide spectrum of prose and poetry.

    Good luck!

  4. Well done for getting into Waterstones and being the best seller of the day! That’s a real achievement even if the actual sales figures weren’t huge.

    Good luck with future sales.

  5. Pauline Howard says:

    Very well done, eleven copies in one day is excellent for a book without a ‘name pull’.

    How does everyone manage to get up so early – I’m still in last weeks time zone!

  6. Fiona says:

    Well done Gail. Some good advice left by others. X

  7. peggyaylett says:

    Good luck with the book, Gail.

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