Every Thursday Dave and I go to the Wine Styles in West Portal for a wine tasting. We’ve been going ever since the store opened a year or so ago because the owners, James and Gail a: are really nice, b: have great senses of humor (they’ve seen COLD COMFORT FARM and have ‘seen something nasty in the woodshed’) and c: there is good wine to be tasted. What’s not to like?
Last night Mark, our favorite wine rep, was doing the pouring. He had two sparkling wines and four reds (two syrahs and two pinot noirs). The reds were all from wine maker Jim Walker, who was also there along with Mike (didn’t get his last name), He Who Grows the Grapes. Mark asked me how the book sales were going and this sparked a conversation with JIm and Mike about my writing and more specifically, my murder mystery Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon. Long story short, I ended up trading a signed copy of my book for a signed bottle of Orentano pinot noir (well out of our budget) and while I don’t think either side ended up with a bad bargain, I’m feeling mighty chuffed that someone would want to give me a lovely bottle of wine for something I wrote. I guess it’s the same as being willing to shell out money for either the book or the wine, but they were so jazzed over the book and asked so many questions about it, it just made me feel awfully special! It was a great boost for my ego and my incentive to keep writing. It had the additional benefit of leaving the budget open to purchasing another of the reds, a yummy Fieldsa syrah, which was an amazing wine for a very inexpensive price.
It also underlines points made by other August Blog Challenge participants on how it’s possible to market one’s book just about anywhere. Heck, I didn’t even have to bring it up. I think it helped that I had an equally genuine interest in the wine (and not just from a tasting standpoint – wine is one of my passions) and I don’t have much of an ego when it comes to my writing. I’m not shy about it, but I’m always surprised and pleased when someone wants to take about it and takes the time to ask me questions or visit my website. And it also gave me a great idea for my third MFH mystery… All good things!
Happy Friday, all!
See, whadideyetellya? People thought it was wierd to have a booth at a framers market, but i figure, why not? and it worked. You go to a wine tasting and shezamm! works too! It just shows to go ya, ya can’t get creative enough or do too much serendipitous marketing in this game. Oh, BTW, I had to look up a word today (don’t very often anymore, smile) “chuffed” – never heard or used that before – i like the sound – thanks! lol
This story is SO much better than what I feared when you said your post was about your book and wine!
I want to live close to you and go to a weekly wine tasting. And I think talking about your book at a wine tasting event was totally fitting and sounds like it was also fun (not just for you).
Heh. I love the word ‘chuffed.’ It’s an English word, but it’s also the sound tigers make when they’re greeting each other or a person. It means ‘pleased.’
OKay, Helen, I gotta know what you were expecting when you saw the title of my post! 🙂 The nice thing about this wine store is they actively promote me – they had a signing for me there about six months back and currently have a poster promoting a library panel I’m doing. Any time you come out this way, wine tasting WILL happen!
Cold Comfort Farm is brilliant, it’s years since i’ve watched it so I recently invested in a copy. I’d be chuffed with free wine too.
I LOVE Cold Comfort Farm…
I have to say, this will spur my agent search on even more–who knew I could trade a published book for wine?!
That’s right, Red! Who needs a fat royalty check when one can obtain goods and services directly with the trade of the book?
That is wonderful–now I’m going to have to get a copy of your book to read!!!!
It’s good, Joyce …. I’m waiting for the second in the series. When, oh, when? Are we anywhere close to a first-read??
Thank you, Joyce! And thank you, Dani, for your endorsement! I’m working on it, along with the story adapted into a 200 page novel, due January 1st… but after tonight, I’m even more inspired to write, write, write! I shall blog about it tomorrow. Hah!