6 Reasons People Buy Stuff

Mernie Buchanan
3 min readJul 17, 2021

How to write and market your memoir much better than me

‘Chicken Little’s Issues’ 48x60” acrylic by Mernie + back stock

Slugs are winning the race against sales of my memoir. It’s engaging, well written and floats far out there in a vast ocean of reading material. Not unusual when you consider that 2.5 million titles are released worldwide each year.

Then consider I indie-published as a first-time author… and at a time when in-person events couldn’t take place. Thanks again, Covid. A grand total of nine Goodreads reviews praise The Incompetent Psychic with 45 stars. Several more readers have sent lovely emails and said nice things out loud. Kind friends count for a lot, but don’t generate quite the same sales totals that important quotes by recognizable names on a front cover tend to.

Okay, sales are sluggish. I asked Google, ‘Why is this?’ Up came a list of the 6 reasons people buy stuff. I managed to ease in at #6.

Consider that non fiction books are just more stuff… manuals to teach short-cuts to satisfaction. This list of desires suggests that if you want to exploit the buying public for profit you have to write a bulletproof screed and title it: How to Land a Mega-Paying Job so you can Hire an Entourage of Go-fers and Bodyguards.

I wrote The Incompetent Psychic instead. Here’s how I missed the mark…

1) Desire for Financial Gain

I describe a forty-year career as a full time, freelance artist. I might as well have written, “Turn your back on this target before aiming at it.”

2) Fear of Financial Loss

Nope. You’ll need a different instructional manual for this fear — one I’m not qualified to write. All you get from my book are suggestions on ways to make fear bearable whilst shooting for a creative vocation. I did offer some tips on how to get over, through and around some other great big fears like, not being good enough, getting mocked and death.

3) Comfort & Convenience

I understand wanting a life that is the equivalent of sleeping on memory foam, but comfort and serenity are two different beasts. I didn’t shoot for a comfy book. Convenience suggests less work, more appliances and paid helpers— helpful advice I also didn’t offer.

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Mernie Buchanan

Originally from CA & Las Vegas, I now paint and write in Woodstock NY. All images are my original art & photos. Links to more at mernie.com