Essential Steps to Selling Books

I had an a blast in Kuwait last week with PLUMA, a writers group focused on exploring the migrant experience in the Arabian Gulf. I read a scene from The Dohmestics that was quite hard going: an almost rape scene in which those at the bottom of the pyramid compete against themselves. I’ve read from this scene before. The last time I did, the audience was stunned by sorrow into silence. This time, the group was nodding all throughout. Yes, men from the same country while abroad will take advantage of their compatriots.

Yes, women can work against her other. Or stand together in solidarity. I was comforted by the ability to talk about these harsh realities instead of shying away from them.

In the Q & A the inevitable question came: “What advice do you have for beginning writers?”

“Write.”

In all seriousness, if you haven’t written anything, don’t ask me how to get an agent or sell your books. You haven’t got one yet. If readers fall in love with your work (which is a miracle every time it happens) then they’ll want your next project. ASAP. You’ll need to keep writing.

People also ask me: “When do you write?”

“Whenever I can. Wherever I can. In the 30 minutes before a conference, skipping breakfast. Poolside during swim class. On Saturdays.”

Posted from Abu Dhabi’s Al Reem lounge.

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