selling / writing

Meandering Monday about Selling My Self’s Shorts

Selling isn’t easy. That’s why we have salesmen, and why the good ones make the big bucks.

When dinosaurs ruled the earth, I applied for a clerical job from an ad in the newspaper (a physical newspaper – I told you this was LONG AGO…) I was told that the clerical job was filled, but they had some sales positions available selling vacuum cleaners. I trained for a week, and then had to go out and demo the machine to five people to get paid (well, not just demo – SOMEONE had to buy it.)

I couldn’t do it.

Mind you, this was a great machine, and the demos were remarkable. It was a stainless steel canister vac – you’d hold it over your head and it would suck up a quarter pound steel shot. You’d tie the hose in knots and vacuum up a 4-inch long carriage bolt. You’d have the customer use their own vacuum to thoroughly clean their carpet, and then you’d make one pass over the same area and show them the disgusting amounts of dirt they’d missed. Quality wasn’t an issue – it was a great product.

I’m not a salesman – if you put me in a store and someone comes into the store because they ALREADY want to buy something, I can manage that. But asking someone to spend their hard-earned money on something they weren’t asking to buy was beyond me. Heck, I could barely impose on people to watch my half-hour demo (I think I only did three demos, and naturally, didn’t get paid.)

It’s hard enough for me to sell someone else’s product. Selling my own is complicated:

  1. I have to have confidence in my product (I do… I think)
  2. I have to be willing to interrupt other people’s lives to try to interest them in my product (hey, we’re all busy)
  3. I have to ask them to give me a little of their money (I bet they have other things they’d rather spend it on)

We’ve all known people who can’t seem to get through the day without bragging on themselves (this used to be discouraged as boasting, but now it’s encouraged as esteem-building and positive reinforcement.) I wonder if our youngsters – in the land of participation trophies – are better salesmen than my generation. I can see where it would be an advantage to not have self-doubt, and to feel you’re the most important person in the room. I think you’d have a lot fewer problems with the 3 items I listed above.

Of course, it wouldn’t make you a better writer, would it? Doesn’t that require a certain level of self-doubt? Is it our neurosis that make it (sort of) work?

Just saying…


SheilawulfCoverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “The Sheila Wulf Chitinoid Sessions”:

The things you run into in space…

Fresh from the University, Sheila Wulf thinks she’s made her mark when she discovers an alien species, but her fifteen minutes of xenopological fame seems to be wasted on a tribe of uncooperative crabs. Could anything be worse? Try working for her.

So just what are chitinoids? Read it and find out. Use coupon code PE24P to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until April 30th. Here’s the link:

“The Sheila Wulf Chitinoid Sessions” is also available in my third collection, surprisingly titled (if you haven’t been paying attention): Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.


SolidPeopleCoverEleven days remain on the “Solid People” preorder campaign:

The afterlife is what you make of it.  A run-in with Mr. Topp’s flatbed strands Sarah and her mother in Newbury. Despite her mother’s warnings about becoming  attached to things, Sarah decides to spend her time with some Solid People.

Release date is May 6th, but you can preorder now at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):




William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Burial Details”, can be found in many places, including:



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