I keep a box in the trunk of my car filled with paperback copies of my books. It's there in case I run across anyone who actually wants to buy a hardcopy of one. To be honest, it's been a long, long time since I hand sold a book, though.
Every once in a while, when I'm pushing the box aside for groceries, I tell myself I really should get that out of there. It's just taking up space and every time I see it, it reminds me that my paperbacks aren't selling. (Of course, I'm not really doing anything to sell them, so that's on me. And a story for another time.)
But it's still there. And Friday I was reminded why I need to always keep it there.
Hubs and I went to town Friday. He needed a haircut and while he certainly could've gone alone, he asked me to come along for the drive. It was a beautiful day, so why not? Anyway, I dropped him off at the barber and went across the street to buy cigarettes.
I've been patronizing this smoke shop slash liquor store slash bait & tackle place for about 4 years and I like to chat with the employees. They're great gals (and just recently guys). And most of them are readers. The one who was working yesterday is always cheerful and nice. We've talked about her and her family. She's a hard working gal who busts her butt.
So, anyway, I was there talking to her and she asked me how the writing was going. (Not a question I get too often out there in the world.) I told her and then gave her a new bookmark and a new postcard. She was really excited for me, which kind of made my day. And I told her all of the ebooks are available for $2.99. Then she confessed that she prefers to read hardcopy.
Totally cool, but I could tell she wasn't going to go online and order my paperbacks, and that she was disappointed about that. I mean, I keep my paperbacks as inexpensive as I can, but they're still way more than $2.99.
Another customer was waiting, so we said our goodbyes and I went out to put the cigarettes in the car. And there in the trunk was that box, filled with books that haven't been going anywhere. I grabbed a copy of Wish in One Hand, whipped out a pen and signed it, then took it back inside. When I handed it to her, she lit up. And then she opened the front and saw the signature and squeed.
I made her day. And she made mine.
So, the box will remain in the trunk and I will add more books to it. Just in case. You never know. And hey, she might buy the others now, or she might opt for the ebooks (she does have a Kindle), and she might tell other people about them. But if she doesn't that's okay, too. Because she already made my day.
One more thing. I had been debating on whether to continue to produce paperback copies of my books. I was leaning away from future books having hardcopy versions. Now I'm leaning back. If I don't have the paperbacks, how can I hand one out? They're an added expense to my publishing budget, but they really are worth it.
What about you? Do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks? If you're a writer, do you keep copies of your books in the trunk of your car?