How selling books is like turnip farming.

Imagine a farmer has spent years learning how to grow the best turnips. The farmer tilled the soil, put in fertilizer, and pulled out weeds to yield beautiful, plump roots so perfect it’s almost a crime to eat one. These roots are so sweet they taste like apples.

But eating is what they were grown for, so our plucky farmer puts these beautiful turnips in a pretty box with a modest price tag and waits.

The farmer’s family knows there are turnips for sale, and while they don’t really need any more vegetables they come over to see the pretty display and buy a few as long as they’re there.

Then our farmer waits, dusting off the veg once in a while humming a merry tune getting some seeds ready for next year.

Now if the village was starving, those turnips probably wouldn’t last long. However, this village has several good greengrocers, a large supermarket and a constant stream of travelling salesmen peddling the latest trend just in from the big city.

Our plucky farmer lives on the side of a muddy track in the countryside. There’s no reason why people couldn’t wander past the farm and see the stack of turnips but it wouldn’t be many that braved the elements. Of those who did see the stand, one in ten might be hungry, and even then, only one in ten of the hungry folk would like turnips. I mean come on, it’s only a short drive to the supermarket, and they have CAKE.

So what’s our poor farmer to do? Walk into the field and die destitute and alone? Probably not the best solution. Or give up? Sell the farm and move to town to work in above mentioned supermarket? It’s a possibility, but our farmer would be miserable and it’d waste all the knowledge and talent built up over the years.

Better still would be a way to tell the village and even the people in the big city about the turnips.

And possibly offer more than just turnips.

Maybe beets, and broccoli and kale and carrots and apples or if you wanted to get quite fancy maybe some turnip crisps… No wait Turnip Cake… Too much? Maybe.

Our plucky farmer decides to start with putting up a sign and planting some carrots.

Although it’s hard to find a place to put signs up, since the big players have bigger signs and more of them, and nobody wants to waste valuable frontage with an unknown–what if those turnips had worms in them?–the plucky farmer keeps knocking on doors looking for a window or bare patch of land to put a note on. When they’re not knocking on doors, there’s that carrot patch to plough, seeds to sow and weeds to pull.

Eventually the turnips start to sell. Only a few, but people liked them. Our farmer puts up more notes, displays the best root at the annual village fete, and convinces one of the travelling salesmen to take a few into the city. The farmer’s exhausted, but the carrots have sprouted. Maybe next year will be better.

Here at Drumcross Publishing we’re working hard to bring more vegetables to our stand. New projects currently in the development phase including a series about a space dragon with mental health issues, a science fiction series with a hopeful twist on the climate crisis, a writer’s daily planer, and digital art compilations, prints, or colouring books. Also Cherie Baker’s second book is being edited with an eye to being released early this summer.

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Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay