On Your Marketing, Get Set, Keep Going

In my previous post I discussed marketing your book using social media. This time around, I’ll talk marketing via personal appearances.

First, please note I am not a public speaker. I’ve taught small classes to children on writing and on communications as a volunteer, but that’s it. And I found those somewhat nerve-wracking. So when it came time to promote my book in person, my reaction was “Whoa doggy, what do I do?”

What I did was educate myself. I took a crash course in book promotion, via book signings, by reading blog posts of other authors and writing sites on how to do it. I tried to prepare myself for all scenarios such as:

– Reading an excerpt out loud: This request was sprung on me at a panel discussion, but you know what? It went swimmingly because my publisher had the foresight to insert a very short, exciting excerpt (a low speed car chase) in the front of my novel, and that’s what I read. I watched other panelists fumble over what to read, and one refused to read at all. It could have been a close call for me, had my publisher not provided the ready-to-go excerpt.

– Giving a quick talk: This was especially tough in the beginning because I truly believed I had nothing useful to say…until I was asked questions by kindly, wonderful book readers who attended my signings. That gave me a sense of what could be of interest to attendees (such as: how did you get published, how do you make time to write, do you edit as you write, is your heroine like you, do you have any illegal weapons, etc.).

– An audience member turns unruly: This happened only once, well maybe twice, from an angry attendee who couldn’t understand why she wasn’t published yet since her book was big-screen worthy. The first time this happened, I was caught off-guard, and the rant went on a bit too long. The second time, I asked her to speak to me later. She didn’t. Should this type of situation occur, take control by suggesting the person email or speak with you afterward.

The best way to anticipate and prepare for possible scenarios and to enjoy the promo event is to make sure your attitude is top-notch. An excellent attitude makes all the difference. I believe it was one of my fave authors, Janet Evanovich who suggested getting your hair done, wearing something new or just doing anything to give yourself a little lift before the promo event. Who doesn’t want to be around a happy author?

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This is true. Thank you.