FREE TALK + NO SELLING OF BOOKS = FAT HOPE
I did lots of free talk last year and sold my books there. That was how I managed to clear 1,000 books all by myself within a year. But the downside was I became so busy preparing the materials, doing promotion for the events, that I have ZERO time to work on my new book.
The last comment "MORE EXPOSURE", which was used by 80% of potential clients last year to negotiate my fees downwards actually made me motivated to grow my fanbase to proof that I don't need your exposure, you need me to promote you instead.
Unfortunately this year, I am caught up with tons of commission work, some were paid last year but delayed till this year. That's why I am very grateful to all my patrons at Patreon, who provided me a steady flow of monthly allowance so I could jack up my commission rates and lessen the projects I had to do. This means more time to work on all-new content for my book, while still keeping the regular Monday comic strips! Of course, I do still get requests to conduct workshops (which sometimes require lots of meetings and get cancelled last minute, so I will be declining all workshops for corporate HR training), tons of requests to negotiate my fees and collaborations, etc. Sometimes I wish I can just ignore all the emails and go somewhere far far away to work on my book... But money is important, especially in Singapore, so I will still read emails.