My book, “One Caregiver’s Journey”, was published in March, 2019. Just prior to launching on Amazon, I was contacted by ReadersMagnet asking if they could collaborate with me on marketing and promoting the book. I was skeptical of the offer and asked a good friend to help review the information and he concluded that Readers Magnet is indeed a credible entity. In the months since, I have developed a relationship with my “team”. I feel that I can honestly trust their judgment and openly question their suggestions. Their work is professional and I have been pleased when projects are fulfilled and completed beyond my expectations. Yes, you need a satchel of cash to self-publish, market and promote a book, but that is balanced with the experience which, for me, has been educational and exciting.
I was invited to display my book at the Miami International Book Fair in November and eventually I decided to accompany my book. “One Caregiver’s Journey” has been to four other international book fairs this year where it basically sits on a shelf while people walk past. Miami offered the opportunity of meeting people and promoting my book in person.
My friend and I left Denver in a snow storm and arrived in balmy, warm Miami four hours later. My marketing materials were sent to the hotel ahead of time. I knew the ReadersMagnet team attending the fair would consist of high and mid-level management and staff from a variety of locations. My team was staying home in San Diego. Prior to the fair, my team had communicated a multiplicity of details related to the venue, area restaurants, hotels, and that Readers Magnet was sharing a booth with the Oasis Book Store. I felt prepared for the unknown.
We got an early start the first day of the fair. Asking for directions at the main gate, we found the Oasis Books Kaffe booth, and as I walked into the tent a man turned and greeted me by name. It was both surprising and interesting since I had never seen or met anyone standing in the tent before. I felt like time stopped as the ReadersMagnet staff took stock of the first author to arrive. We were cordial, and I watched as they were happily working at their assigned tasks and getting ready for book signings and setting up the tent.
I left the booth for about 30 minutes to seek two other venue entities I had read about on fair’s website. The person manning the first booth treated my questions as an irritant and the second booth quickly gave me information and left me standing. I quickly scurried back to the booth and stayed there for the remainder of the book fair leaving only for short breaks. Other ReadersMagnet authors came and left but the overall atmosphere of the booth was one of comfort, cordiality and respect. I met other numerous other authors, listened to conversations, asked questions and watched book signings as I handed out my marketing materials. The authors who had paid for book signings received the undivided attention of the staff. Frankly, it was impressive to observe how the authors, their friends and family in attendance were showered with attention. We continued to hand out marketing materials and the atmosphere was comfortable, happy and productive.
ReadersMagnet is a relatively new player in the book world and not particularly large. It is apparent they are striving to provide high quality services and improve services where necessary. I was educated into a new world by both the management and staff. I asked questions and answers were explained and discussed with me when we had a few minutes to chat or if they observed something I should know. My eyes were opened wider as the book fair went on and each day we became more comfortable with each other. Treating each other with dignity and respect and lots of humor was just the order of each day. The staff made the experience happy and comfortable.
As authors we ask our teams to give us information and to help us in our success. Maybe we authors should ask what we can do to make ReadersMagnet achieve their goals for success. I quickly realized this is a partnership and I found myself asking the numerous questions even though it has only been six months launching my book. Authors who had published their books several years ago are still promoting them, something I had not even considered. I also learned valuable information from those who had published multiple books. Do you continue to look at the avenues of investment or do you take a break and let time catch up? Do you jump at every suggestion or do you weigh them separately from all angles? So much to learn and I tried to take advantage of every opportunity afforded me during the fair to ask questions of anyone I thought could provide answers for me to ponder.
By the end of the three-day fair the staff and authors were all at ease with each other, conversations turned from books to family, friends and shared time in laughter and respite. I am grateful to the ReadersMagnet management and staff and especially grateful to my team in San Diego. I realize that perhaps I have overspent in some areas. I cannot look backward but I can look forward for opportunity and I am more comfortable asking for guidance.
I will continue to ask for advice, perhaps even offer suggestions and ask how I can help my ReadersMagnet team. Going to Miami gave me a new perspective on the book world, and while I do not consider myself an “author” I look at that differently as well. I would encourage all of the ReadersMagnet authors, published or VIP to consider going to a book fair, to hand out marketing materials and co-mingle with the staff and crowd. When the wave I am riding crashes to shore the three day Miami International Book Fair will be a shining moment in the journey. I am grateful to be part of the ReadersMagnet team.