Getting my Hustle On

I’ve written a hundred blog posts in my head. Unfortunately, technology hasn’t caught up to where I can think a blog post and – voila! – it’s there. The reason these posts have been in my head and not in print is due to fact that in those precious moments I have to write, I’m working on Pardon Falls, the sequel to Phoenix.

Why do I have only a few precious moments to write? Well, as fellow GoodMedia Press author, Nanon Williams, shared with our publisher, I’m getting my hustle on selling Phoenix.

I’m not complaining. I mean, what writer doesn’t want to work their butt off to get their work into the readers hands or see someone who is truly excited to start reading your novel? As the publishing industry changes with Indie publishers growing, so does the responsibility of the writer.

I’ve had four book signings so far. My release party at a friend’s wine bar in Dallas (you know you’re having a great book release party when the cops show up!), a book signing at the Creative Arts Center in my hometown and two in-store book signings at Kroger stores.

Kroger in Texas has a great program to support local authors. Participants in the program have the opportunity to set up in a store to sell their books over the weekend.

Get your turkey, floss and Phoenix - all in one stop!

Get your turkey, floss and Phoenix – all in one stop!

The first weekend I did this was last weekend at a store closest to my home. Because it was Super Bowl weekend, the store was tight on space, so they put me at the best available space … aisle 19, sandwiched between deli meats and oral care. But strangely, I did pretty good that weekend.

This weekend, I was at a store in Fort Worth. The traffic was pretty light, but I think that was due to the fact that Saturday was cold and yucky and was also the last day of the Stock Show and Rodeo.

An awesome new reader took my picture at the Kroger in Fort Worth.

An awesome new reader took my picture at the Kroger in Fort Worth.

I quickly learned that I was going to have to step outside my comfort zone to bring attention to the people passing me by. Even though I do PR for a living, I don’t promote myself, it’s always a brand or client. For every 10 people that saw me and quickly averted their eyes to their grocery list, at least two would politely stop and let me give my spiel. One would wish me the best of luck and then continue their shopping, and the other one would take a look at the book blurb and ask me to sign the copy for them.

It’s not easy with those odds. And, when the 10 people who avoid me come in rapid succession followed by several people who shake their heads, it’s easy to want to climb under your table and just hope the pretty cover draws them in.

But then, a nice person stops by and chats with you. Like a gentleman who likened the Kroger appearances to bands playing the half full bar, and that one day he’ll see my name in the New York Times Book Review and think, “Wow, didn’t I see her at the Kroger on S. Hulen?”

Or, the sweet little old lady who listened in as I gave someone my pitch telling me that my writing is a gift from God. “But you already know that,” she continued before shuffling away for her groceries.

Writing wasn’t easy. It’s still not easy, but I know that there is a payoff to all the work. Each time I go somewhere to sell my book, I have to tell myself that I owe it to Amanda, Alex, Shiloh and David. That I’m not there for myself, but for them.

They gave me the gift of their story. It’s my responsibility to share that story with as many

If you take off the "-ties," you would have found me in the "Frozen Novels" section.

If you take off the “-ties,” you would have found me in the “Frozen Novels” section.

people as I can. So, I continue to push my own fears aside to stand proudly in the frozen food aisle, in front of the Polident, braving the cold gust each time the automatic doors open, answering questions about things I clearly know nothing about (“Sure, I think there is a special on whole chickens today”), to bring Phoenix to as many people as I can.

The moment we lock ourselves away for ... someone buying our book.

The moment we lock ourselves away for … someone buying our book.

Plus, it’s kinda cool seeing the receipt with your book’s name on it. 🙂

About Kimberly Packard

Kimberly Packard is an award-winning author of women’s fiction. She began visiting her spot on the shelves at libraries and bookstores at a young age, gazing between the Os and the Qs. Kimberly received a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and has worked in public relations and communications for nearly 20 years. When she isn’t writing, she can be found rollerblading, doing a poor imitation of yoga or curled up with a book. She resides in North Texas with her husband Colby, Oliver the cat and a 75-pound lap dog named Charlie. Her debut novel, Phoenix, was awarded as Best General Fiction of 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors.
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4 Responses to Getting my Hustle On

  1. Sylvia says:

    Good for you Kimberly. Every best-selling author starts somewhere. One day (soon) you will look back fondly (if somewhat amused) at these experiences.

  2. Kimberly Packard says:

    Thanks, Sylvia! They are all fun experiences and really, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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