Narrated by Ezra Manes, JR. paraphrased by Jenny Underwood at the Oregon County History Club Meeting 06/13/2014 (Meetings are the second Friday of each month at noon at the Country Cottage Restaurant).
I wrote a book called Third Moon Rising which I self-published and is available on Amazon, createspace.com, or from me as I make my rounds. The back pages says “The billions of people on Earth will never leave its ecosystem, sharing its terminal fate,, except for bold emigrants sent to establish colonies on Earth-like worlds. Conflict arises when Earth’s leaders plan to colonize a world inhabited by a declining alien civilization.”
The book is about traveling to another plant in a distant solar system. I chose a planet that was 12 light years away from our system and may be inhabitable by earthlings. When I grew up in the Ozarks, people did not really believe there were other planets, just Earth. Then they believed maybe there were the nine planets we studied about in school, but that was it.
There were limited opportunities in the Ozarks so I went to the Navy as did the men in my family. They sent me to school for by Bachelors, Masters, and PhD. in Electrical Engineering. After I worked on nuclear sub projects, I retired to work for space contractors. While there, I was in charge of a team that developed the mapping software systems for looking at earth from space and to capture images from Earth to other systems. The systems were eventually licensed to Google Earth and is the basis for their mapping of rural areas like the Ozarks that were cost prohibitive to comprehensively photograph. The system was more precise in identifying distances and locations that manual photography could be.
- The book was published last year, and I have been spending this year in promoting the book. After selling over 500 books (most of the revenue was donated to the Relay for Life Cancer Project), here’s what I have learned about local promotion:
- Carry a book bag with a small flyer, some of the books, and a change bag with deposit slips.
- Have a Cause. My cause was Cancer and my book profits go there.
- Have a place or person to write checks to.
- Get coverage by local media. My book sales jumped after appearing in the newspaper and on the radio.
- Know the pricing and how it compares to online pricing. A discount of $1.00 was given on the book for Relay for Life purchasers but many gave $15.00 for a donation.
- Talk to the librarians. I sold books to Oregon, Sharp, Howell, Fulton and Greene County (Springfield libraries).
- Pay attention to paydays. Most get paid the first and third week of the month.
- Choose your target market – County and local governments, stores, beauty shops, realtors, restaurants, resale shops, and banks.
- Have your elevator pitch ready. Mine was “I wrote a book!”
- Be familiar with the product and other stories about it.
- Put in high school libraries.
- One disappointment was the number of people who said they don’t read. They need to read to keep sharp.
- My online sales were about 10% of my person-to-person sales.
Now I am going to work on national marketing. And BTW, as technology improves, they are discovering hundreds of planets. Just three months ago, they discovered a planet that looks habitable right in the solar system my book is placed in. It really made my day!
And now I am writing a second book.