When I went on QVC I told myself “just do your best….it’s more than just the numbers”. But we all know, it’s a business and business is about the numbers.
I wrote the following blog post while on the plane returning home:
The week before I headed to Philadelphia for my time on QVC, another food blogger turned cookbook author debuted her cookbook on the same channel, on the same weeknight, during the same time frame. She did not, however, present her book herself. I only know of this person through some mutual friends and her place on the Internet, so I have absolutely no idea why the decision was made by her or her publisher to have someone other than herself present her book. Maybe she wasn’t even given the option. Sometimes QVC themselves decides that you’re not the best person to present your product. I honestly don’t know and quite frankly it’s none of my business. All I know is that she sold out during the allotted 6-8 minutes…. and my book did not. My book did well. Extremely well in fact. But I didn’t get to witness the same “SOLD OUT” across the screen like she did. And if I’m being transparent with you, that was a hard pill to swallow.
I would be lying if I said I hadn’t wondered had I done the same, had a professional who would’ve been more seasoned with being on live television, garnered better results than I would have. Would I have sold out, too? Did I make the right decision by going on myself?
And my answer is this. I’d rather have a book that didn’t sell out than to trade the experience I had leading up to my 6 minutes of limelight any day of the week.
(some screenshots from my dear friend and former co-worker, Jennifer!)
I have built my blog and my brand on the backbone of myself alone. My domain is my name for crying out loud! When you come here for a recipe, for a craft, a home décor update, or just some idle rambling about my dogs; you get me. All day. Every day. Sell out or not, I know in my heart that “I” was the best person to talk about my book. To be able to briefly mention how my passion for community and great food inspired Picnics, Potlucks & Porch Parties, I needed you at home to see me smiling through the other side of your television set and to believe that I was authentic in my words.
Had I not gone on myself, you would’ve been indirectly cheering for the book and not for me. And while cheering for the book is fine and dandy….I covet your support for me over cookbook sales any day of the week. Hands down and without a doubt.
My husband hosted some of our neighbors while I was away for what we were calling a QVC watch party. He made recipes from the book and was left with strict instructions on making sure the floors were properly swiffered prior to anyone’s arrival. I left sticky notes with which platters I would use for certain recipes and set out picnic totebags for our guests to take home, and that was about it. My anxiety nearly got the best of me leaving it in his hands, but isn’t that what my book is supposed to do? Inspire, encourage and provide you the instructions to pull off special occasions yourself?
He text messaged me the following photo of my sweet, sweet neighbors and family following my segment and as I sat in the sales stat counter room (unlike the movie Joy, you go into a separate room for your numbers- you don’t see them live) watching the orders come in, it was everything I could do not to burst into tears right there in front of the Mama Manciti’s team yelling at the live TV monitors for David to sell more meatballs.
(They’re holding up signs that say “10” and “Way to Go” and “You da Man”)
I realized in that moment that I don’t need to sell out while on air to prove anything. The mere fact that I was able to debut my cookbook on QVC in the first place is a feat in and of itself. I had an opportunity that fewer than 150 people get per year. I can say I hugged, high-fived and happy danced with David Venable and that if he were my neighbor I can guarantee we would sip many a sangria together.
I set out to write a cookbook that included delicious recipes that were easy to recreate and fun to tote around. Recipes and hostess ideas that would hopefully inspire you to partake in a cocktail on your front porch, kidnap your husband for a picnic, or impress your friends at a church potluck.
I did that, y’all. My neighborhood watch party was proof and for me, that’s better than a QVC sellout any ole’ day.
I went to bed a bit disappointed only to wake up to the following screenshot from my head cheerleader and husband.
We had landed ourselves on the Amazon #1 Best Seller list following my QVC segment the night before.
And friends, that’s a bit icing on my already blessed and grateful cupcake.
Update: During the time I was writing this post and traveling from Philadelphia to my connection in Dallas, I learned that my book had sold out on QVC and people were being placed on 45 day wait lists.
Call it karma, call it a blessing, call it what you will but I’m still maintaining my stance…..it’s never going to be simply about the numbers to me.
PS: If you missed the QVC segment, here you go: Aimee on QVC