Write on, Wednesday: Great Writing is Your Best Promotional Tool

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By Leslie Lindsay

I recently downloaded this “5 Secrets to Great Writers” guide from www.bookbaby.com and have been skimming through it’s contents.  The first thing I read goes like this:  “You can assemble the world’s greatest team of publicists and social marketing strategists to help you promote your book, but if the WORDS you’ve assembled in your book can’t sell themselves…well then, you are dead in the water.”

Makes sense, right?  Again, I wonder what publishling house would publish a book if the author can’t write well?  (That is if you are going with a traditional publishing model and not self-publishing).

But here comes the tricky part of book work.  Promoting what you have written.  There is a fine line between being good at tooting your own horn and sounding, well conceited.  Of course, no one wants to come across as arrogant.  So, how does one get the word out that their book is worthwhile?

(Humm…if I knew I probably wouldn’t be writing about this!).   Here goes:

  • Build your Brand.  You’ve probably heard this before.  It also means, “what’s your platform?”  Basically, who are you and what can you share with the world?  And most of all–who cares?!  Here are some questions, to get you thinking about this brand/platform idea: 1)  Why did you write this book?  2)  Who did you write the book for?  3)  What are you willing to do for this book?
  • Now, do some hard-core reflecting on those answers.  Write ’em down if you have to.  The answers, at least according to the Bookbaby booklet, says they will frame your entire marketing strategy.
  • If you really did your homework here, you’ll find that a lot of your answers come back at you in the form of stories.  And that is precisely what you are good at–telling stories!  This will help you as you prepare for interviews, guest blog posts, Q&A’s, press releases, etc.  Answer honestly and passionately.  No one cares how you had to juggle your schedule to fit it all in.  They care about why you wanted to write about _____ in the first place.  Tell them!  Let your human connection shine through.
  • Connect with People.  Don’t connect anonymously–a random blog or website doesn’t really matter.  Focus your market.  Ask yourself:  what can I give them?  What do they want to hear?  What may be of help?   Remember, it’s not about YOU anymore.  It’s about your intended READERS.
  • Write the next book.  Don’t just sit there and worry about this book.  While that is important, it is equally as important to start working on your next project.

Write on, Wednesday!!

Leslie Lindsay is the author of “Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech” (Woodbine House, March 2012), the first-ever book written exclusively on a complex neurologically-based motor speech disorder.  She knows the answers to the three questions above, but she will admit to still being a bit anxious about this whole promotional thing.

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