Becoming Mother

A book and a blog for first-time mothers

Black Friday Selling Updates

So Black Friday selling wasn’t a complete bust.

Here are some highlights:

I was yelled at by a woman who was disgusted with my book.

She had corkscrew red and white hair and wore thin penciled eyebrows and a rumpled cream tunic. And she was most likely crazy. The interchange went like this.

“Becoming mother?” she said in disbelief. “What is this?”

“It’s a book about becoming a mother,” I stated the obvious.

She shook her head in disgust.

“What do you need a book for? God. What the hell?”

She points to the women walking behind her before she continued.

“We all did it! And we’re fine. We didn’t need a book!

“Well, it’s for first-time moms. Do you remember being a first-time mom?”

“Yeah, I do!” she yelled.

“Oh, okay. And you think it just wasn’t that hard?” I asked.

She shook her head in utter disbelief.

“I mean, what’s there to talk about?” she asked. “You have the baby, you take it home, they grow up, and then they die! God!”

(No, I’m not exaggerating this conversation at all. My mother was there to witness the whole thing–along with the other crazy dude that wandered behind my table and demanded to know WHAT I WAS DOING WITH ALL OF THIS!!!)

My guess is that this woman’s disgust with the concept of my book is a generational thing. Her comments struck me as implying something like, “Real women don’t think this is a big deal. You younger women need to get over yourselves and get on with being a mom. God!”

But then, I also had some nice conversations.

Besides the crazy people, I had some nice conversations with several women who were expecting babies in March and April. I talked with some excited future grandmothers who were thrilled to buy something for their newly pregnant daughters.

One pregnant woman told me that she had had four miscarriages in the last year and she was now at 23 weeks with her fifth pregnancy.

“This is the farthest I’ve gotten so…”

We commiserated about obstetricians and pregnancy and wondered why some doctors don’t try harder to figure out why you miscarry. (The culprit in her miscarriages was low progesterone levels–left undiagnosed throughout all of her miscarriages).

She bought a copy and I wished her good luck.

One woman had just become a grandmother twice in the last two months. She bragged about how big one of the babies was (“Eleven pounds, sixteen ounces!”) as she bought two copies of my book.

I sold five copies of my book, packaged in $20 gift sets, so I’ve covered about half of my booth fee.

Okay, so I knew I wasn’t going to be raking in money hand over fist at this event, but I don’t think my time spent today was a total loss.

I reached five new readers that I wouldn’t have otherwise reached.

I realized that it doesn’t really matter if I stand at my table or if I sit and do something else.

All of my customers have approached me while I’ve been typing or while I’ve been talking with my mother or sister. Not one person paused at my table while I was actively trying to get their attention or start a conversation. In fact, I think people preferred to not have the pressure of the vendor trying to reel them in (Hey, I know that I hate that…)

Tomorrow, I’ll go easier on myself and just try to enjoy the possibility of selling more books.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing this journey with me!

 

Live from Black Friday Book Selling

So I’m selling my newly published book at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio for the next three days.

A disclaimer: Selling like this makes me feel uncomfortable. As I’ve said before, selling like this makes me feel like *I* am on sale. This is a memoir, a book about my life.

So I tried to take the first comment of the day in stride.

An older man, a fellow exhibitor, walked by my booth as the doors were just about to open. He sized up my book and said, “Is this a book about being a mom?”

I said, “Well, it’s a book about becoming a mom.”

“Okay…”

He looked around my table.

“Is that all you have? Just the book?”

“Yep.”

“Hmm…”

Long silence.

I know that this booth is a bit out of place. There are hardly any items on the table.

National Holiday Gift Show 001

Just a small stack of books and a display of items for the gift set.

“Interesting…”

“Thank you,” I said.

“This isn’t really a reading crowd, but… good luck to you.”

Geez, Dude. Thanks for the pick-me-up.

Okay, so I’m more than a bit out of place.

I’m surrounded by far more exciting booths: a posh clothing boutique decorated with all things Parisian, a booth dripping with jewelry, and I swear to God, an Ohio State Football booth, manned by an actual Ohio State Football player (his jersey says “Cotton?”).

The doors opened at 9:00 and I debated in my head about whether or not it would be better to sit or stand.

I tried standing, looking out at the people passing by and saying hello.

Most of them didn’t want to make eye contact. Or they missed me completely as they darted to the Ohio State booth. I smiled. I said hello. I smiled. I said hello. Hello. Good morning.

Oh! Someone with a baby! Get her! Oh… she’s gone. 

Look at all of them around the Ohio State booth. God, they can’t get enough of it. 

No one here is going to buy this book. Look at all of them. He’s right. No one here reads…

Okay, maybe standing isn’t working. Maybe I should try the disinterested approach.

I sit down and start typing away on my computer.

At least I don’t have to be bored while I tailspin into low self-esteem.

***

At least there are a lot of people here. There is a steady stream of people passing by my booth.

While I’ve been writing this, a woman stopped by my table and said that she wished she would have known about this book a little sooner. Her niece just had a baby on Monday.

“Oh, really? This is actually even better for her now that she’s had the baby. This book goes all the way to the end of the first year postpartum.”

Her eyebrows lifted. She thumbed through the book as we chatted.

She eyed the price, the purchasing options. I told her that I was selling the gift set today and that if she wanted just the book she could get it on Amazon for a bit cheaper.

“I’ll think on it.”

I offered her my card and she smiled as she took it.

We said good-bye.

Oh well…  I thought.

I resumed typing away on this blog post and noticed someone staring at my table.

We struck up a conversation. Her daughter is expecting a baby next April. I pitched her the book.

She bought a copy.

More to come…

 

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