Blogger: Mary Keeley
What does your mind conjure when you hear the word self-promotion? How we want to roll our eyes when we hear someone spouting on and on about their achievements, perhaps even embellishing them, in general conversation. There’s no avoiding it, writers must promote their books if they want to help their sales reach the level publishers need to see before they are willing to offer the next contract. But promotions can be done in a way that attracts readers rather than turning them away.
Recently, my husband received an email attachment from his high school class reunion committee listing the profiles of those who had submitted them to date. As he read through it, trying to remember names and faces, he came to one that was q u i t e lengthy. Bought this company and sold it; bought a bigger one. World traveler…lived here, then there, and there. You get the picture. It’s high school, mind you. Most classmates simply want to get together and reminisce. Rolling of the eyes. Self-promotion for writers has nothing to do with that type of self-glorification.
Self-promotion for writers is about letting the world know your book exists and that it will bless hearts and lives.
Cleanse your mind of the negative connotations associated with the term, and shift your focus to the readers you want to reach who will benefit from your book either for pleasure or for improving their lives. This is the purest motivation for the promotions you will undertake. The benefits of this shift are numerous:
- You’ll have clarity of thought as you craft your promotional materials and condense your pitch to an irresistible sound bite for your press release. The publisher’s publicity team will write one to send to larger newspaper, magazine, and TV outlets, but you may want to create your own personalized press release to distribute to local media and newspapers. If you are self-publishing, you likely will need to hire a publicist to write it or do it yourself.
- You will be prepared to pay full attention to individuals at book signings. A reader will never forget you took personal interest in him or her and will enthusiastically want to promote your book to family and friends by word of mouth.
- You will be more relaxed and natural as you speak to groups when you forget about yourself and fully invest your attention on your audience. Multiply the genuine connection you’ll make by each person present at each speaking engagement you have. Multiply that number by the many others to whom these people will rave about you and your book. Get the point? This personal kind of connection has a more powerful effect on book sales than social media.
- When your focus is on the people you meet at the book signings, readings, and speaking events, you’ll absorb important nuances, felt needs, fears, and hopes from them which will kindle ideas for future characters and stories.
I love win-win scenarios. Plan your promotional endeavors, not primarily for getting all you can out of it, but instead from the perspective of how you can care for and show genuine appreciation for your readers. Both you and they will be winners.
What kinds of promotions have turned you away from an author? Which of your promotional efforts reaped the best results? Why?