If you’re a smooth-talking extrovert, you’ve probably got this one down already.
But most creative writers aren’t extroverts. We’re quite the opposite. Which makes things problematic.
That’s not to say we’re whimpering in our closets, terrified at the very thought of interaction. It’s only to say that entertaining strangers… or bothering them… or risking bothering them… isn’t our happy place.
We’d much rather hang out with family or friends. And if we do exchange pleasantries with unknown individuals, we’d prefer to keep it as mutual as possible. As in: They talk. We talk. They talk. We talk.
A regular back and forth that doesn’t focus entirely on ourselves.
For that matter, if it’s them talking a bit more than us, we’re probably fine with that too.
That's all well and good in many cases. But book marketing isn't one of them.
I'm a firm believer that listening to voices other than our own can lead to very good things. That’s even true when it comes to book marketing.
But a good chunk of book marketing – such as running tables at conventions, doing interviews, and just spreading the word – also requires a good bit of talking. It entails shining a spotlight on ourselves and saying, “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!”
Now, no doubt, you’ll want to find a more eloquent way of saying it than that. But you’re still going to want to find a way of saying it.
That’s why I highly recommend trying out this tip…
Practice talking about your book in the mirror.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like an idiot talking about my books. Despite my really good vocabulary base and decent grasp of social skills, I tend to lose 67.3% of my ability to speak when the topic of my novels come up. And that’s on a good day.
“My novels? What are they about? Uhhh...” Hardly the most eloquent description, I know. So if you’re anything like me, you need to practice your marketing pitch until you can at least sound comfortable, if not confident. Which, admittedly, might take some time. A lot of time.
Yet that time will be well spent in your book marketing quest. Just wait and see.
Sure, you’re going to feel foolish trying out your book-marketing skills on yourself like this. But so what?
You’re a big kid, for heaven’s sake. Suck it up and do it anyway, knowing it’s for your own good. And your book’s good. And your sales’ good.
You’re not going to make much money if you don’t know how to properly present yourself.
“I can just do online ads,” you might want to argue. And sure, you might succeed in that.
But online ads – at least the typical kind of online ads you can probably afford – aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be. Many authors, myself included, truly do sell the majority of their books through face-to-face interactions.
Besides, figuring out how to talk about your book out loud can spur some significant writing smarts as well. Keep in mind that writing ad copy for a novel is much, much different than writing a novel.
You’ve got to be short, sweet and to the point here. There's no room for 70,000 words or more.
So practice what you need to practice until you sound like a pro – no matter which way you’re presenting yourself.