Blogger: Mary Keeley
What is your knee-jerk reaction to the concept of self-promotion? Negative or positive? In the coming year we’ll be surrounded by self-promotion of all kinds via the media until we do an eye roll and cover our ears. There’s no avoiding it, writers have to promote themselves and their books, too, if they want to help their sales reach the level publishers need to see before they’re willing to offer the next contract. But promotions can be done in a way that attracts readers rather than turns them away.
Some time ago my husband received an email attachment from his high school class reunion committee listing the profiles of those classmates who had submitted them. As he read through it, trying to remember names and faces, he came to one that was quite 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. That approach might be right for a resume, but not in this context. After so many years, most classmates simply want to get together and reminisce. Eye roll. The best approach to self-promotion that writers should take has nothing to do with that type of self-aggrandizement.
Self-promotion for writers is about letting the world know your book exists and that it will bless readers’ hearts and lives.
Rid your mind of negative connotations associated with the term, and shift your focus to investing in the readers you want to reach who will benefit from your book, either for pleasure or for improving their lives, and always spiritually. This is the purest motivation for the promotions you will undertake, and the returns on your investment are numerous:
- You will have clarity of purpose as you craft your social media promotions The publisher’s publicity team will write a press release to send to larger newspaper, magazine, and TV outlets, but ask to review it before it’s sent out to be sure it was written in the tone you want. Yours isn’t the only book the publicity team is working on. If there isn’t time to get thoroughly familiar with your book, they’ll try to do the best they can, but occasionally they can miss what’s most important. Create your own personalized press release to distribute to local media and newspapers.
- 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. You’ll make genuine connections with everyone present at each speaking engagement you have. Multiply those numbers 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.
- You will absorb important nuances, felt needs, fears, and hopes of your readers when your focus is on them at your events. This information will show you how to feed your readers what they need from you in your future books.
Plan your promotional efforts, 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. That’s self-promotion at its best.
About that high school classmate I mentioned earlier? It turned out he was really nice in person and had contributed generously toward the lovely reunion event. How unfortunate that his profile had left such a negative first impression.
What kinds of promotions have turned you away from an author? Which of your promotional efforts reaped the best results? Why? What do you dread about self-promotion?
Self-promotion is a necessary part of an author’s life. Approach it the best way. Click to Tweet.
Writers, see how to approach self-promotion in a way that builds positive author-reader relationships. Click to Tweet.