We have talked recently about promoting your book; this topic included establishing websites or blogs in which you could enhance the visibility of your book. I think now it’s time to discuss about what not to do in terms of promoting.
You must realize that as an author, you have a different objective about your work than does the reader. An author can write for numerous reasons, they may consider it an expression of art, or emotions. Other authors may which to present an idea or concept to the public. Sometimes an author writes because they enjoy writing. Whatever your intentions of writing, once you are promoting it; you are now in the BUSINESS of selling your book.
A reader of your story is not in the same business as you are. A reader does not buy your book because they want you to make money. A reader of your story wants to be entertained by your story. You must remember this important fact when you stop being an author and begin as a pitchman.
When you start pitching your story to readers, you turn them away. Consumers get bombarded with ads every second of every day. Being transported away from this consumer world is one reason why people read. When you start asking and asking readers to buy your book, you alienate your reader, and it makes you look desperate.
There are many ways you can sell your novel to potential readers without appearing as needy. When you do pitch your work, you must remember the reader does not need to read your writing. Imagine you are a car salesman, when someone comes into the show room; they are usually in need of a car. If you own a grocery store, the customer is there to buy food, they need your product. Who needs to read a story? A book is for entertainment; it is not a necessity of life; it is a luxury.
Remember, you cannot hard pitch a potential reader as you were trying to sell a car or food. This is particularly true to the Internet; the potential reader has hundreds if not thousands, of other choices of books they can obtain, and these choices are just a click away on their keyboard.
When you promote your novel or speak about it, never, never seem like you are trying to get the reader to buy the book. If you constantly, saying “Buy my new book,” “I need sales”, you seem like a pushy salesman, and you will have a reader looking elsewhere to get their literary entertainment.
If we should not be pushy, how does an author sell their books? This is where a gentle and subtle hand, combined with some creativity will pay off.
In my last blog, I mentioned that you should remember this paragraph:
I will say that if you are an author, and you are self-promoting or not; you are never too busy to write. Continue writing other novels, or short stories. Writing can put you in an author’s mood; this frame of mind will assist you in the creativity part of promotion. It was during this time I had written “The Knight’s Last Stand” which was part of the Romantic Heroes anthology.
In this paragraph, I was making a point that you should continue writing, even when you are promoting your novel. Furthermore, notice that when I was discussing writing, I was also pitching my short story. I was not doing a hard sell about my short story; I did not say, go here and buy this book. I did, however, mention the name of my short story and the anthology it’s included in. If you were a fan of my blog, and was intrigued about my writing, you might look this anthology up. This is being subtle and creative in promoting your work without appearing as a salesman.
I am not saying, do NOT talk about your book and where to buy it; you should. I am suggesting you keep the peddling aspect of it down and include (gently) where or how the book can be purchased. Engage the reader about your book, keep them interested in it, and then tell them how to get it. If you have done the first part, engaging the reader, you will accomplish the 2nd and sell your book.
What I just stated is appropriate to individuals who are strangers; it is vital to your friends and family. If you start hawking your book to your friends and family, you will end up with no friends and family members which wished they weren’t.
We will be continuing this topic in the next couple blogs, but I did want to emphasize one more thing. Do not take your readers for granted; remember they are taking the time to buy your book. Nothing is more off putting than an arrogant author who ignores his readers.
As always, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment. If you are interested in joining a mailing list, send an email.
Next Time: What to DO in promoting your book