Garage Sale



Last weekend, I helped my parents organize a garage sale.

I asked if I could include some of my items to be sold and they said yes. One of the items was my children’s fantasy novel, More Precious Than Rubies: The Return of the Norse Gods.

I have not been getting the sales for this novel that I desire. I love to write but I dislike marketing because I’ve always seen it as a pushy affair. I know that it’s necessary if one wants success as a writer. I’m just not very good at it.

So I decided to try to get some exposure at my parents’ sale. Yes, I know that a garage sale is not the normal for book-signings; however, if I can ask to put the book in my dentist’s waiting room, why not here?


In fact, I sold three copies.

The first buyer said, “Imagine that. Coming to a yard sale and getting a book signed by its author.”

The second buyer had her pre-teen son with her and was deliberately looking for something that might interest him.

“Do you like fantasy?” I asked him.

His slightly confused look suggested that he didn’t know what I was talking about. After all, don’t we all like fantasy?

I described the book to him.

“He’s not much of a reader,” his mom said.

Words that teachers dread to hear.

But after some consultation with her son, she said, “He says he’s going to try it.”

Which brings me to those survey questions about what I want my writing to achieve. Well, if I can get a reluctant reader to read, that’s sufficient for me.

The third buyer was a woman I know. When she was six, my mother looked after her in day care. I used to play board games with her and entertain her with fabulous stories. She told me she never forgot these. She now has two kids of her own and drives a bus. She gladly bought the book.

My mother, bless her, likes to be my promoting manager at times. She told people about the book, telling them that the author was “sitting right over there.”

Writing, as writers will so often tell you, can stem from humorous incidents in our lives. Two of my mom’s friends, both in their 80’s, walked around, looking at the sale items. Mom directed them to my book but they either didn’t hear her or didn’t care.

Then, five minutes later, one of them almost stumbled over the box containing my books, looked down, and said, “Oh, here are some children’s books.”

Life itself is a book.


About randycoates

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
This entry was posted in Literacy, Teaching, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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