Thursday, June 21, 2018

Book Sales

by Mary Aalgaard

Like most authors, I struggle with self-promotion. While I am proud of my writing, classes, and work, and want people to support them, I am also a Midwesterner, and we are a little shy about tooting our own horns. However, when asked, I cheerfully start tooting away, and find that people are interested. Also, changing up your day to day activities can have positive results.

I am a member at our local YMCA health club. I enjoy the group fitness class at noon on Mondays and Wednesdays. I also teach piano lessons, and on Wednesdays, my students started arriving by 2:30, which made that noon class a little tight for me to go home, each lunch, clean up and be ready to teach. So, I started going to the earlier group fitness class. Sue, who I had met at the noon class, but switched to the earlier time, saw me there and asked about my writing. I told her about my short story "One More Minute" that is included in the Tick Tock Anthology.

"How can I get that book?" she asked.

"I can sell you a copy," I said, as I loaded up my weights.

"Great. I'll be volunteering at the library on Friday morning."

"Thanks," I said, feeling a little stronger, "I'll bring a book over."

Not only did Sue buy a book, but also another person who walked in while we were doing the transaction did as well. I was thrilled because it was Meg, the editor of the local women's magazine, who was the first person to publish my work and call me an author.

I set a couple books out in my piano studio, thinking that maybe one of the parents would ask about it when they were dropping off or picking up their kids. Turns out, the kids were interested in the book. The sweetest moment was when a boy, then later the girl (pictured below), came with their money clutched in their hands, asking me to sign their book.

Of course, all the authors are sharing the book with friends and family, asking local bookstores and libraries to buy a copy, sending out tweets, and promoting on all their social media. It feels great to have created something that other people are interested in, and that might inspire a young writer, too.

If you'd like a copy of Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, you can find it at these various locations.

Want to join the community of people talking about Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime? Add the book on Goodreads or like our Facebook page. 

Mary Aalgaard is a playwright and piano/theater teacher, living in the heart of Minnesota. She writes theater reviews and supports the arts through her blog Play off the Page. She teaches youth theater workshops in the Brainerd lakes area, writes articles for regional magazines, and works with both seniors and youth in multi-generational programs to enhance quality of life and build community. Her website is You can follow her on her Playoff the Page Facebook page, @MaryAalgaard on Twitter, and email her at

Go. Create. Inspire!

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page!


  1. That's awesome! I'm like you - in person, it's tough to promote. But miracles happen when we do.

  2. How sweet! You are master of the soft sell.

  3. You are doing great! I'm really flopping on the direct sell thing. Sooo hard.

  4. This was a great and inspiring story, Mary! You did a perfect job and like Diane wrote, it was a soft sell success!

  5. That is completely awesome!!! Love it!


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