Posted by: nancyisanders | April 18, 2008

The Shoemaker: Part 4

A parable about writing…
In the first three parts of the story posted earlier this week on my blog, the shoemaker tried to sell the shoes she made, but all she got were rejections. Until one day, she met a new friend who invited her to study the websites of the places she tried to market her shoes to and learn more about the exact kind of shoes each one was looking for…

Part 4
After studying the website and reading the interview, it was as if a light suddenly dawned in her head. Quickly, the shoemaker sent an e-mail. In the e-mail, she said, “I have studied your website and see that you all wear cowboy boots. I also read your interview and understand that you wear sizes 4, 7, and 15. However, I didn’t see anywhere that you have a matching pair of cowboy boots for your whole family to wear. I have an idea for a matching set—would you like me to show you the idea?”

To her surprise and amazement, the shoemaker got a reply the very next day. The owner sent her an e-mail! In the e-mail, the owner said, “I like your idea of matching cowboy boots for all four of us to wear. Even though they will look the same, however, I would like mine to have comfortable innersoles included inside. Plus, the two matching pairs for the twins need a special arch built inside because the twins need the extra support. Can you make these for us?”

Excited, the shoemaker replied that yes, she could make the cowboy books like the woman described. So she signed a contract to make them, started work on them right away, and soon sold her first four pairs of shoes.

From then on, the shoemaker never mailed another pair of shoes randomly to someone again. First she studied the websites of different places to see what kinds of shoes they liked to wear. Then she looked for interviews of people who explained the exact size of shoes that fit. Finally, she contacted the people personally to see if they would be interested in having her make them a pair of shoes like they said they were looking for in the interview. From then on, she sold many, many pairs of shoes and her shoes were always the perfect fit!

(Did she ever sell the little blue jogging shoes that she first made? No, but just last month the shoemaker’s daughter had the sweetest little baby boy you ever did see. And the little blue jogging shoes fit her new grandson perfectly—which makes a perfectly delightful end to this story about the Parable of the Shoemaker.)

The End

This is really a parable about writing, not about making shoes. I’ve tried to show you how I’ve had success landing book contracts over the years—and I hope you can do the same.


  1. Nancy – wonderful story! It’s a delight to click on your blog! Have a great weekend. Carol

  2. What a cute analogy! It really shows the importance of targeting a publisher.

  3. This is so great, Nancy. I looked forward to reading it every day! It’s a perfect analogy to writing, and you did it so cleverly. And you have proved over and over, that it works so well. Sure wish I’d known all this many years ago. Congrats to you for figuring it out!

  4. Thanks, everyone, for joining in the fun! -Nancy

  5. Nancy, almost sorry the story ends! Such a creative way to present information!!


  6. Wow! I’ve got to know HOW you got this idea of comparing a shoemaker to a writer. What were you doing when the “light” came on to write this delightful story?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: