When the late comedian and singer Don Estelle found that the TV work had dried up, he took to the road busking in shopping centres, selling his CDs to passers-by.
When he self-published is auto-biography, widely regarded as one of the best-stroke-worst in the history of celebrity memoirs, he flogged them too outside local branches of Woolworths. Despite its reputation, SingLofty: Thoughts of a Gemini is now much sought after.
Without a publisher, PR company or distribution deal, it's down to many writers to flog their own wares however they can. Poor, dead Don apparently made a reasonable living busking in town centres in his pith helmet, making the most of what remained of his fame.
I, on the other hand write blog posts like this, trying to guilt trip people into clicking through to my Amazon store. I've also been known to carry a stock of books to flog when the moment arises, but I'm no longer that desperate.
This is essentially down to a single dispiriting conversation I had with a potential buyer that went exactly like this:
Ms Cheapskate*: "I'd like to buy your book. How much is it?"Me: "Yours for a mere £6.99"Ms Cheapskate: (Umms and Ahhs for a while) "I don't think it's worth that much."Me: "That's two years of my life in there. I think £6.99 is very reasonable."Ms Cheapskate: "I'll give you a fiver."Me: "Done"
The take-home message from this little exchange is this: Writers – two years of your life isn't worth that extra £1.99. Give it up.
Me.Books. HERE. They're really quite good and only two quid a throw.
* HER ACTUAL NAME