It’s Black Friday, and many people will be out shopping today in big stores, searching for good deals. But did you know that many of your own friends may be self-employed, freelance, or independent? This is a good day to ask them if they’re offering any sales or deals too.
Marketing books is hard at the best of times. It requires most of us to put ourselves out there and ask people we know (or barely know) to buy our work. And a book is more than a product manufactured and sold by a company we don’t own. It comes from our very core, as any work of art. It’s very difficult for many of us to set aside our shyness or feelings of being unworthy and tell you we Did A Thing.
This is true for all of your friends who create things. We also often can’t offer all of our work for sale, depending instead on a handful of lower-priced items and hoping those will draw your interest enough to look at our more expensive work. It’s an ongoing balancing act.
Although not all of us can offer sales (especially if our prices are set by someone else), we often provide work that costs less overall. If you live nearby, we can have you over for tea when you come to pick up your order. (Or you can offer us some if we drop it off!) What big corporation can give you that personal touch?
And don’t forget Cyber Monday, when those of us who primarily offer our work online might have sales or deals, or we may be able to offer you items that are less expensive than big companies.
One thing I will ask: When you purchase, especially if you’re ordering something electronically like an eBook, try going directly through the company instead of buying it via one of the online multi-seller outlets. It eliminates some of the cost to smaller companies and allows for higher compensation to the employees and artists. Small companies stay afloat because of people who care enough to make that happen.
We do understand that many people are financially burdened these days and depend on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to purchase items they otherwise couldn’t afford. It’s important to acknowledge this even while some of us with more money might choose to stay home or not buy anything. If you are boycotting today, please take some time next week to ask your artist and self-employed friends about our work and products. If you have the financial privilege, you may be in a position to pay full price for our work.
While we may not necessarily have specific sales company-wide here, we do have a good number of books that are free, low-cost, or whose proceeds go to charity. Please do consider buying any of them, and order directly here instead of through booksellers. We’ll be able to continue offering you the selections you love.
Peace to you today, whether you’re staying in to avoid the crowds or heading out and trying to maintain your inner calm among the crowds.