Driving Blind


I just read this lovely piece by Karla Crisostomo, “Congrats On All The Times You’ve Tried Even When The Outcome Felt Impossible To See
.” In it she proclaims, “[F]or every moment you try, you already win.” This is my experience.

After I graduated from law school, when I was first a research consultant and then the administrative services director for a labor-relations consulting firm, the company president held regular meetings in the big board room. We all knew what was coming. He would stand tall above us, pound on the wall, and shout, “If you throw enough manure on the wall, eventually something will stick.”

Like me, he grew up on a farm. He did not use the word “manure.” This was his sales strategy. This was how he brought in new clients. An outgoing man who never knew a stranger, this method came easily to him. I would have rather undergone root canals without Novocaine. It would take me a decade to realize I was not cut out for his brand of glad-handing.

Still, as an author, I too must “throw manure on the wall.” Hopefully it is more akin to scientifically developed fertilizer than the stuff we used to muck out of the horse stalls, but still. It needs to stick. And I have to do the throwing. I must “try.”

Bear with me while I continue to do what Crisostomo congratulates us all on doing: essentially driving blind. I ask other authors what works for them. I read books about “guerilla marketing.” I attend online seminars on how to market a book. I do my best to improve the odds of success by listening and mimicking and learning from successful authors. But in the end, I have to find my own spin. And that’s okay. That’s what makes it special and hopefully, that’s what will also make it sell.

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