The Marketing Adventures of a
Vision-Impaired Author

Our local optometrist's office - today's first marketing ventue
Our local optometrist’s office – today’s first marketing ventue

The receptionist at the optometrist’s office looked at me.ure

I stared back at her. “There isn’t a second door, is there?”

She smiled in response. “Not that I’ve ever seen.”

I had been pushing against the air, trying to find the door handle to an inner door to the office. I rolled my eyes and extended my cane again. The tip hit at something hard. “I’m at the front desk, aren’t I?”

Again, she smiled.

Oh, great. Not exactly the impression I wanted to begin today’s marketing attempt with.

Now that my eyes had adjusted to the interior lighting and things came into slightly better focus, I introduced myself and said I was the author of the book I was holding. “Is the low vision specialist here today?”

“She’s with a patient now,” the woman said, matter-of-factly.

I groaned inwardly. Who knew how long that would be? I had someone waiting for me in the car, and she had limited time this morning.

“Do you know how long…”

She shook her head.

I launched into a quick Plan B. “How about if I leave my book with you to give her? I’ll write a note explaining my proposal.”

She nodded and handed me a sheet of paper and a pen.

I wrote my message, being sure to leave my contact information in it. I was hoping she’d call me to say, “Yes, I’d be thrilled to review your book.” It wasn’t as if we lived in New York City and I didn’t think people asked her to review their books everyday.

I thanked the receptionist and left.

At home, I looked up some deaf organizations and picked up my cell phone to see if I could secure a speaking engagement with any one of them.  Halfway through dialing the first number on the list, I stopped. I didn’t know sign language. Would they provide an interpreter? If I tried to market my book to them, would it seem strange? I deleted my call.

No, don’t give up so easily.

I picked it it up again and slowly tapped the numbers in. I am sure my book could encourage someone who is struggling with deafness. Unfortunately, the phone rang several times and an answering machine came on. I left a message and went on to the next organization.  The answering machine came on there, too.

My heart sank. Today’s marketing wasn’t going very well.

Maybe a letter to these organizations would be better.

I started a new word document and a couple of minutes into my letter, I heard a “ding” from my cell phone. I automatically looked down and found I had a message on Facebook Messenger. The first few words flashed across my screen. “Don’t forget the interview on Purpose…”

I quickly picked up my phone and tapped in my security code to access the message.

It was from Cindy, the interviewer on Purpose Talk Radio. She reminded me that I would be featured on her program the following Friday at 3:00 pm, EST.  She had just sent instructions to me via email about what she needed from me.

“Yes!” I pumped my arm down.  “Maybe I will sell some books after people hear my  interview,” I whispered to myself.

I grabbed a new pad of paper and wrote down a list of people to follow up with for the next day. Some I should have followed up on long ago and others were brand new leads. I paused and noticed that my list was a nearly a page long. Surely this will bring some speaking engagements and sales!

I did feel a sense of renewed hope. Every day is a new opportunity to get my work in front of new readers – to offer support, understanding and a bridge to vision and hearing loss.

Marketing is part of an author’s work load. Do you have a job that requires you to do a lot of the legwork or you don’t make any money? How do you motivate yourself to get it done? What kind of adventures do you have during your work day?

The Marketing Adventures of a Vision-impaired Author
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7 thoughts on “The Marketing Adventures of a Vision-impaired Author

  • February 19, 2015 at 10:31 pm
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    Hi Amy,

    That’s a good idea about taking your book to the optometrist. As you stood there with your cane, I noticed how you described how the receptionist kept communicating with you using visual cues by nodding her head, shaking her head, and smiling. I’ve been to eye doctors and wondered if they’ve ever met someone visually impaired before. LOL

    It took me a while to learn that marketing is part of the writing process. Even in the early stages of a book I’m now writing, I’m considering how to market it. That was something I hadn’t given much thought about at this stage of the process in earlier books. When someone books me for a signing or speaking engagement, that encourages me and motivates me to keep knocking on doors. But when I’m having a dry spell in marketing, it’s difficult for me to get motivated.

    Very informative article, Amy.

    Matt

  • February 20, 2015 at 5:59 am
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    Hi Matt,
    Yes, that’s true. She did keep the communication going. But what if I couldn’t see those non-verbal gestures? Oh, I get it! That’s the problem! Ha ha! Good point.
    Yes, I’ve been learning that marketing IS part of the writing process. Yes, we have to be very creative. I wish there was someone to tell me what to do each day!!
    Amy

  • February 20, 2015 at 10:46 am
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    Your efforts amaze me, Amy. With that determination, you deserve to succeed. I do nothing to market my books. Needless to say, they don’t sell. I could give up, reasoning there is no point in writing any more. But I’m hopeful for the future despite my lack of friends in a country I wasn’t born in and the walking disability which prevents me from venturing forth. Go get em and good luck.

  • February 20, 2015 at 2:22 pm
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    Thanks, Francene!
    Sorry to hear about your walking disability. You can market your books on the Internet, too, of course. But you are pretty busy with your husband, I imagine. I think it’s difficult being in a country where you know few people. I went to a church for a few years where I didn’t know many people and therefore, I didn’t really get involved, and few knew if i was there or not so I can relate in that respect.
    Thinking of you. xx
    Amy

  • February 20, 2015 at 9:12 pm
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    Hi Amy. I haven’t commented in quite a while, but I still think of you. 🙂 As always, I admire your courage and determination. I wish you much success in your marketing! Hugs!

  • February 20, 2015 at 10:20 pm
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    Trudy!!!!
    I am SO happy to see your comment on here!
    I have thought of you so many times and prayed for you!!
    Love you and miss you, girl!
    Glad you are blogging!
    I just did an interview. I’ll send you an email.
    Amy xx

  • February 21, 2015 at 8:42 pm
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    Thank you so much for your prayers, Amy. 🙂

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