Thankfully, there are a lot of resources to help us as we try to navigate our way through an area we are not familiar with, nor particularly comfortable in. Just like there are reasons that only younger women have babies, there are reasons that writers should write and marketers should market.
Since that is not the case, we have to do as much as we can, when we can, and learn from people who are doing it successfully.
For everything you could ever want to know about promoting books, just do a Google search for “book promotions”. More sites will pop up than you can look at in one day.
One of the things that I have learned by reading and listening to marketing experts is that the hard sell does not work. I thought I was the only one turned off by “you’ve simply got to read my book.” But apparently I’m not.
At a recent marketing seminar given by Jeff Crilley who has a PR firm, Real News, he said that selling is about connecting to people on an emotional level, which is what I have been hearing from other marketing experts. He said the best way to create buzz about a book is to talk to people. He encouraged authors to arrange speaking engagements at Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis, and any other civic or church organization. “When you talk to people in person, that’s where hearts and minds are converted,” he said.
When his presentation was finished I realized what was probably the most important part of his workshop. Not once did he push his book. He did talk about the book. How he came to write it. How he has used his marketing strategy to sell it. But not once did he directly invite the audience to buy the book.
The other thing that has stayed with me since attending his workshop last week was how much fun we had. He was quite entertaining and frequently made everyone laugh. And… now I’m getting to the bubbles… to make his point on how ineffective press releases can be, he gave everyone a little jar of bubbles. He had us all stand up and blow bubbles and then he said that the bubbles represented the hundreds of press releases that might be received by a newsroom of a major television station or newspaper.
Very effective illustration of the point he was making; a point that might have gotten lost if it had just been part of a Power-Point presentation.