Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Insecure Writers Support Group - June

The months are flying by too fast. It was May's turn yesterday, right? Oy! Thanks once again to Alex www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating this awesome group and for making it so fabulous. Check out his blog for all the details on how to participate.







I am a teensy weensy bit insecure this month. I've been promoting my anthology, "Still Me...After All These Years" at retirement communities and it's not being received very well. There just seems to be no interest. The only thing I can think of is that most of the folks who live there are already in their eighties and nineties. They are at the end of this journey of life and just don't seem to care about what others have to say about that journey. When I speak to folks in their 60s and 70s, though, there is interest, so I really misjudged who my target audience is.

I've done one event at a senior center. It went very well, except that it was a very small audience. The people who attended were attentive and some actually purchased the book. We even had a good discussion about aging, so this probably is the target audience.

There is an event scheduled at a bookstore later this month - they've sold all but one of the books that have been on display and we haven't had the event yet, so I'm hopeful.

In all of this, my biggest lesson is to let go. All I have control over is presenting the information, not the results. Thank you Al-Anon for that wonderful slogan: Take the action, let go of the results. And Let go and let God.

I have created a fundraising event as part of the "Still Me...After All These Years" project - ALL PROCEEDS FROM SALES of the anthology are being donated toThe Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. You don't have to purchase the book to donate, however. Here's the link to help.
https://fundraise.michaeljfox.org/karenhelenewalker

Blessings to you all
Karen


32 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes your target audience comes through trial and error. Now that you know, you can adjust your marketing.

Which bookstore will you be at? Is Page One still there?

Pat Garcia said...

Hello Karen,
Don't give up. Since Still Me...After All These Years has been released at least four or five of my readers from all over the world have bought it on Amazon. One in South Africa and a few in Canada. I don't know how many in the United States but in Germany I do believe two or three have bought it because I have received fan emails from people who have read the book. The people however are not in the eighties or nineties. They are in their forties up to their seventies. So, the book is making quiet ripples in the water at the moment, so be patient. The ripples will grow. Sometimes we do have to learn to let go.
I will continue to promote it on my blogs and in my writing because that is my first published piece and I am so proud to be a part of your project.
All the best.
Shalom aleichem,
Patricia
Everything Must Change

nashvillecats2 said...

I hope your sales pick up soon Karen. Good luck.

Yvonne.

Karen Walker said...

Hey Diane, yes, Page One is still here, but this event will be at Bookworks on Rio Grande Blvd in the North Valley.
Pat, thanks so much for these words. They help a lot. Actually, I'm not upset about sales, just surprised at how off the mark I was.
Yvonne, thanks so much.

Nicola said...

Wishing you more sales, Karen. You've done such a wonderful job. Keep going - and enjoy the journey. Big hug!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you're figuring out who your audience is. So true about focusing on what we can control. So much out there in writing and life that we can't control.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Seems like there's always good with the bad! Hang in there. Hope you are having a great summer!

Julie Flanders said...

That's a lesson that is so hard for me to remember. But I'm getting a little better. I'm glad you seem to have found your target audience with the senior center. And I loved reading that the bookstore selling nearly all of the display books. Sounds like a great sign!

Bish Denham said...

I wouldn't count out the 40 and 50 year olds. Even younger. Many I've talked in that age bracket seem afraid or angry about aging. But it's something we all have to face. Aim younger, you might be surprised.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Karen, I read to folks in nursing homes as a program with a local group--before I was a published author. Most of the time, the folks went to sleep during the reading! I'd say your audience would be younger because they want to know about aging. 80 year olds have been there, done that. Aging is not for wimps!

Best wishes with your book!
JQ Rose

Karen Walker said...

Nic, the sales are only important to me because the money is going to Parkinson's research to find a cure - thank so much for the good wishes
Natalie, yes, it's not just the writing life - it's life itself that we have so little control over.
Jennifer, thanks - hope you're summer is going well, too. Mine's great so far
Julie, yes, when the bookstore told me they needed more books I was surprised.
Bish, hmmm, younger than 60's. Hmm.....
JQ, you said it - and yes, that's the conclusion I've reached - they've done it - they don't care.

Murees Dupé said...

Don't feel bad. I'm still looking for my target audience. At least one good thing is, all of us will age with time, and many people respect that and want to know more. Great on the books selling so well at the bookstore. Don't give up, keep going.

cleemckenzie said...

Interesting that those with the most life experience aren't fascinated by others who are sharing their stories. Anyway, I read and enjoyed the anthology. I'm not in a rest home yet, but that's because I don't "rest" very well or for very long. I'm sure you'll find your audience!

Jacqui Murray said...

Interesting to hear about your readings. That's my fear--that it won't work. I wonder how often it does.

Suzanne Furness said...

I hope you manage to find more outlets for the anthology, it is such a good idea. Even slightly younger people might be interested, perhaps with older relatives in mind? Keep going.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I agree with Bish. I think you should aim younger. For those who haven't yet faced issues involved with aging and see (and fear) it as the great unknown, the book can serve as a reassuring guide.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, I know the feeling! I missed the mark completely with my first book. Once I realized who was actually reading it, I adjusted my aim. And how I wrote the rest of my books.

Jen Chandler said...

Isn't interesting how we find out our true target audience AFTER we put our work out there? I guess that's really the only way to know for sure.

Best of luck with all your promotion events and the fundraising!

Cheers,
Jen

Karen Walker said...

Thanks everyone. You are the best!

Nick Wilford said...

It's the same for any book - one of the hardest parts is finding the right target audience, but sounds like you're narrowing it down. You've got the right attitude to promotion in accepting there's some things you can't control. Good luck with the event!

Jessica Therrien said...

I love that slogan!! I haven't heard it before. It's so true. Just take action and do your best! Good luck with promoting it!!

www.jessicatherrien.com

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Karen,

SO happy you finally found your target audience. AND, how exciting to almost sell out at the bookstore before the event. As we all know it takes time for the WORD to GET OUT....

All the best with your sales .... I know it's hard, but keep at it. Once the book is read and reviews start to pile up, the book will take off. I would even target it to the 50's reader. We may not be OLD, but we certainly aren't who we used to be... just a thought.

Thank you so much for your comment. I really was kind of you. I will press on, because that is what I do. In time...

Toni Travis said...

I'm nowhere near targeting my market yet, so I can only imagine what a challenge it is. You're very brave to keep putting your work out there, especially when it's so close to your heart. Best of luck at finding your audience!

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Hey, it seems like you're working out your audience and figuring out what works. And if they've already sold all you books before the event even starts, that's great! Seems like you're hitting a sweet spot, and you just need to take advantage of what you've learned so far. Here's to the book continuing to take off!

<a href="http://www.cdgallantking.ca/2017/06/a-one-legged-man-in-ass-kicking-contest.html>IWSG June</a>

Ryshia Kennie said...

Sometimes success is just a matter of not giving up. All the best!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - it sounds like you've found some of your target audience - you may well find from the book store - your audience will be younger - people who have encountered the challenges of ageing amongst their family or friends and who want to know more ... so they can be more prepared to help. Good luck and it's great the work you are doing to promote it and help others ... cheers Hilary

Diane Burton said...

How wonderful you discovered your audience. Now you can focus on Senior Centers. Not only are people in their 80s & 90s at the end of their lives, many find reading too hard--hurts their eyes, easily distracted, can't focus on lengthy works. I know those are generalizations but something to consider.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm thinking that people who are already old probably don't want to hear about aging since they are already there and know what they need to know about the subject. Maybe a better audience is the group about to face retirement or those trying to figure out what to do about their aging parents or relatives.

But it's always a matter of trial and error when marketing. We can guess at a the theoretical demographics of our target audience and find ourselves way off the mark. I'd say keep trying different things with different groups. Eventually you find your best market for selling.

The way I see it is that if an author doesn't have some inkling of insecurity then they are setting themselves up for failure and disappointment or they might have unrealistic expectations that will lead to missed opportunities.

Keep pushing away at marketing. Your customers are out there.


Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Joey Resciniti said...

I'm so impressed that you've got a real book and you're out promoting it! That's worlds ahead of where I am - keep plugging away and you'll find your books niche.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

You found your niche group quickly! Now that you know your demographic, it will be easier to connect with them. Might also be good to connect with people in their 40s, since they might buy the book for their parents for milestone birthdays, etc.

Stephanie Faris said...

Interesting market research! I wonder if you could find any book clubs that are specific to seniors in your area? Maybe your local bookstores/libraries might be able to refer some? Meetup.com is a great resource for finding book clubs.

koi seo said...

Now that you know, you can adjust your marketing.


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