I promised I would talk about exposure today. Exposure is one of the most valuable benefits you take away from nearly any of your promotional efforts. The exposure benefits are especially prevalent and important to authors who get out and speak to their audiences. Whether you are speaking to a group, talking casually with people at a signing, book festival, flea market or conference or you’re just chatting it up with potential readers, you are getting exposure. One or 1001 people (or more) now have the opportunity to learn about your book. This may be the first or twenty-first time they’ve become aware of you and your book. It doesn’t matter. If it is a book they can use or would be interested in reading, they will eventually do so, but only if they know about it.
Stay hidden behind your computer reaching only those people who happen across your website, stop in once in a while to read your blog, subscribe to the newsletters you write for, communicate with you via FaceBook, etc., and you will miss out on a lot of valuable exposure.
The fact is:
• People are more apt to buy books from an author they meet and like.
• The power of persuasion is more effective in person.
• When someone bothers to hold a book in their hands, they are more apt to buy it.
• The memory of a real-time experience is greater/stronger than that of one occurring online.
While some people purchase books they’re interested in on the spot without much contemplation, others need time to consider the book. The more times they see, hear, read about or are otherwise aware of you—the author of the book they’re considering—the more apt they are to eventually purchase it.
Exposure has other positive side-effects, as well. I’ve known many authors who have attended book festivals, signed books and spoke to groups, for example, and were disappointed because they didn’t sell many books. Some of them have vowed never to do that activity again because they sold so few books. What these authors didn’t consider, however, were the benefits outside of making that on-the-spot sale. For example,
• Awareness of you and your book expands every time you speak to new groups and individuals.
• You are reaching even more people when you publicize these activities and events.
• While out talking to people, you may meet someone or your publicity might reach someone who wants to purchase your book in bulk for an event, who invites you to speak to a large group of your potential readers, who has a radio show and wants you to appear, etc. It happens. I’ve seen it happen more times than I can count.
The next time you speak before a group, are interviewed on the radio, do a signing at a small bookstore, reserve a booth at a book festival, etc., don’t view this so much as a bookselling opportunity as one for exposure. Look at the bigger picture—how widespread can you direct the publicity? What opportunities might present themselves beyond just making those immediate sales? But you have to do your part.
You must get out of the office and mingle with your readers. You have to direct the publicity far and wide. You need to keep an attitude of gratitude which will help to open you up to whatever comes your way. And stop thinking so much about sales that you miss those opportunities that can lead to greater success.
For more about how to have more successful speaking engagements, book festivals, signings, etc. be sure to order your copy of “Talk Up Your Book.” It’s available in print and on Kindle at http://amzn.to/ZMJndK