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Adopted By A Conference

When a well-placed contact gave Bill advanced notice of an upcoming government workshop, Bill contacted the organizers and found his way onto the agenda. He worked hard to prepare his talk and had a strong pitch. Twice during the brief he noted that novels are needed to dramatize the nation’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities and raise public awareness, both times holding up a copy of his book. Shameless, yes, but both plugs drew laughs.

At the first break after Bill’s talk, the organizer asked him how many copies of the novel could be made available in the morning. Bill didn’t understand the question. The organizer clarified that he’d like to purchase a copy for each workshop attendee and have Bill do a signing. Bill managed not to swallow his own tongue.

The next day, Bill sold eighty-two books and had a long line of people waiting to have their copies signed. He also received an invitation from another organization to give a talk and do a signing, with the possibility that the audience would fill most of a large auditorium.

The lesson of this story is that luck happens, but sometimes it gets ridiculous. More seriously, if you develop mutually supportive relationships, build on your strengths, and make the most of each opportunity, sometimes amazing things happen.

No matter how many books are sold, though, there’s no substitute for the email note Bill received two days later at 11:18 PM. The note read, “As you can see from the time, I could not put your book down. Great book." Music to a writer’s eyes.

 

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Updated: 04-Mar-2003