This is a revised repeat of a blog I posted within the first few months of this blog site—December 2005.
Promotion can be a silent and lonely activity. As an author with a book to sell, you spend quite a bit of time each day/week trying to find readers. (If you aren’t doing this, you should be.) You are building mailing and emailing lists; writing and rewriting promotional material; searching for appropriate newspapers, magazines and websites to solicit; mailing free copies of your book to reviewers; sending out press releases and so forth. But sometimes it feels as though you are all alone searching the vast earth for another human being. You are out there shouting accolades for your book and no one seems to hear you. Yes, promotion can be lonely work.
I speak to a lot of lonely authors throughout the year. All they want is a little feedback and some sales. They need to know that there’s someone at the other end of their efforts. Maybe it’s time that we change our promotional tactics. How? Go out and speak about your book. Go face-to-face with potential customers.
Our neighborhood, like many in America, is representative of the historic cottage industry era. One neighbor sells jewelry from home and another one makes and repairs jewelry. Another neighbor does quilting for customers in her garage. There’s a bookkeeper up the street, a dog trainer and a part-time realtor who all work from home. But the most successful woman of all in our neighborhood is the one who goes out and talks to people about her product. She contacts appropriate outlets for her line of clothing. She sets up booths at flea markets and seasonal festivals throughout California.
We’ve all become fairly comfortable communicating through the Internet. Most of us don’t want to bother trying to reach people by phone or in person, anymore. But I maintain that it is more difficult for someone to ignore you when you have a solid voice. They might receive your email and click you into the trashcan. But if you speak to them in person, they will listen to what you have to say.
Those of you who have relied on the Internet to promote your book and who aren’t selling as many as you would like, make 2013 the year you take our voice back and became more visible. This may just be a unique and effective way to increase our book sales.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor and purchase your copy of Talk Up Your Book. This is your toolkit for using your voice and your personality to sell many more books. http://www.matilijapress.com. It is also available at amazon.com and most other online and downtown bookstores.