Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Bill. I want to announce, right up front, that my request to appear here was based on purely selfish motives, namely to promote my new book, Taking the Mystery Out of Business: 9 Fundamentals for Professional Success. It was released earlier this month and is available all over the place—just check out my website for more details.
I also want to state that if you’re a writer and you hesitate to take advantage of all your friends, acquaintances, and anyone who so much as gives you the time of day—you’re missing the boat from a promotional standpoint. Writing a saleable book is the easy part of writing—and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. It’s also the fun part and it probably takes less time than all the other duties and responsibilities we writers assume if we want to get our precious books in the hands of eager readers.
My “day” job has involved working in sales and marketing for over thirty years. I don’t have a problem with the promotional end of being a writer. It does, however, take me as much time and effort as it takes everyone else. So, because I really enjoy Bill’s blog, his followers, and the entertainment you folks provide on a weekly basis, here are some tips for those of you who either abhor the marketing/promotional end of writing or who would like some free advice:
1. You MUST tell everyone you encounter that you’re a writer. I still haven’t figured out why, but lots of people are impressed with writers. Sure, some people won’t be impressed. Some people don’t like the kind of stuff you write. Other people can’t read. They’re not the ones who count—from a promotional perspective, that is. It’s the people who adore writers and bask in the reflected glory of writers you need to reach. Can’t find ‘em if you’re not looking for ‘em.
2. You MUST seek every promotional opportunity available, such as online opportunities (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, My Space, Goodreads, blogging, a website, guest blogging, etc.), local events (radio and TV appearances, book signings, workshops at the library, etc.), and the unconventional. My latest book is a business book, so I’m promoting it to businesses by seeking occasions to provide complimentary 15 to 30 minute workshops in exchange for the opportunity to sell my book. I also have postcards printed and ask (okay, bribe) family members to pass them out. The bribe part comes into play when I give them a free copy of the book if they personally hand-deliver or mail at least 25 postcards to their friends, business associates, and total strangers. Oh, I also beg all my friends who have blogs to let me to appear. If I haven’t reached out to you yet, feel free to send me an invitation.
3. You MUST be generous. If you want other people to promote you, you must promote them. Example: my Author Exchange Blog, which I started months before my first book appeared in print. If any of you would like to make a guest appearance on it, or would like to send me announcements and other stuff, just check it out and shoot me an e-mail Be sure to mention you’re a friend of Bill’s—that gets you preferential treatment. Seriously.
4. You must be persistent, you must have a thick skin, and you must operate from the mindset that what you’re doing is both fun and beneficial. Otherwise, promotion will become a chore and—with all my sales and marketing experience, I promise you this: if you hate what you’re doing, it will communicate itself to the people you’re talking to and will negatively affect your efforts.
If you have a specific question about any business aspect of writing (or any other profession), I will be happy to spotlight you and your question on my Taking the Mystery Out of Business blog. Just shoot me an e-mail.
Another option is to post your question here and wait for my answer.