As you know, my Friday posts are reserved for guest author interviews and when I’m not conducting an interview, I post about anything authorly and/or blog related. Sally Cronin has recently been sharing excerpts from her expert advice in Media Training for Authors. Sally has a wealth of experience under her belt and shared a fantastic article from her book last week titled – Gathering Around the Right Waterholes. This article is insightful for all authors with great tips on how to promote our books and get out of our writing cubbyholes and get ourselves more exposure. You will find several links on Sally’s post to prior posts and related material.
I am continuing the series on media training and marketing for authors which is adapted from my media training course for small businesses and charities. Authors are small businesses with a product that needs marketing to obtain sales. Once you start thinking of yourself as a business it tends to focus your mind differently.
Gathering at the right waterholes.
Have you ever been to one of those parties where it appears that everyone is speaking a foreign language or where everyone is talking about something that is completely unknown to you? I have. When my husband was offered his job in Spain, he went ahead for the first three or so years, and I would go over every six weeks for five days. His company directors generously took us out to the Madrid hotspots in the first few visits, and in those days I didn’t understand a word of Spanish (still not great even after fifteen years of living there!).
However, I would nod and smile and get David to translate direct questions, and the waiters would usually bring me a menu with a translation (although sometimes this was not necessarily helpful, and as in Spain, some parts of the animal are relished when deep fried, I would rather have remained in ignorance!).
My point is I was completely and utterly out of my comfort zone, embarrased to open my mouth with my newly acquired Spanglais leading me to rely a little bit too heavily on the comforting notes of a good Rioja.
I use this snippet to demonstrate the way many authors that I have come into contact feel when it comes to marketing themselves and their books. I mentioned in an earlier post that I almost had to drag authors into the radio studio, kicking and screaming to do an interview.
Let us be clear.
If you want what is termed ‘Traditional’ publishing, and more importantly readers, to take you seriously, you have to get over yourselves. You are in the Indie publishing business, and as with all businesses that have spent time in research and development, beta testing, human trials and production process, you need to sell your product with the same amount of commitment and effort.
At this point I must just add a note of caution.… going back to the party analogy….. there is something worse than not being able to understand what everyone else is staying… and that is being sat next to the bore. You know the one who never stops talking about themselves and their job, life, family, travels, successes and latest medical problem. Every time you try to get a word in to change the subject, they are back again with something else about their latest run in with their boss and how they won a bronze medal for life-saving at age ten.
What do you normally do? Usually if you cannot move seats, you turn to the person on your other side and completely ignore them for the rest of the meal.
And this is what usually happens on social media to authors who only ever promote themselves and their books. There are ways to mute those who follow you on the various social media platform, and whilst I am a paid up member of the Indie author movement, and love promoting other authors, I will hit that mute button if you fill my timeline with several self-promoting posts each day and sometimes several times a day. .
You should absolutely promote your work from time to time, but I tell you what is the most effective way to market yourself and your books, and that is sharing another author’s work. Continue Reading
Check out all of Sally’s books: Amazon author page