You know, the stuff that buzzes and trends and mainstreams. The stuff I have no clue, nor does anyone else for that matter, how to pierce. If I were Justin Bieber, it would be much easier.
For an author, in a world where most people watch videos and have smart phones in their hands 24/7, how does one get a BOOK noticed? Well, we have ebooks and that’s been a great option, a clever way of getting the tech junkies to READ. But that’s contributed to some heartbreaking changes in the literary world, Barnes and Noble is scheduled to close it’s last brick and mortar in Queens within the next two weeks and more people now wait for the TV series or movie to come out, rather than READ anything that isn’t a Tweet.
I’ve decided, whether I’m right or wrong I really don’t care, that the best way to market, promote and sell, shouldn’t be over-complicated or reinvented. I have an extensive background in sales from portrait photography to real estate and I’ve met (probably) thousands of people at this point in my life, and all of them responded to ME. And some have admitted that they took a recommendation from a friend who had an equally good experience with ME. Word of mouth marketing is free and the most effective tool in sales. Hands down. So how do I get ME out in front of everyone so everyone can recommend me to everyone else, especially if the ultimate goal is to sell a book?
Media stunts. No just kidding. I think it starts right in your own circle of friends and acquaintances. Don’t worry about family, they will buy the book anyway, or not, no matter what you do. I think the answer is meeting people. Relating to them on a basic human level. Not only at work, or in your normal trajectory each day, but go out of your way to meet more people. Help a stranger with their bags, hold the door for someone, sort of random acts of kindness are jarring to the Matrix anyway! People will notice if you’ve taken the time to notice THEM. Then they actually SEE YOU. And more importantly, you’ve piqued their interest.
If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything- or even better, if you’re being nice just to promote yourself, it won’t work. Be genuine. It’ll feel good too. And eventually people will like you and they’ll want to help you with whatever you do.
In my real estate field I’ve met dozens of people in publishing, and yet after hundreds of rejections, I’ve self-published. Why? I wasn’t following this advice. I hadn’t truly solidified it yet. I was TELLING them about my book and ASKING them to read it. WRONG!!!! I should have been talking about THEM and made a real impression, and in conversation, the writing of my debut novel may have come up. It may not. Let it be organic. And if it’s a numbers game, get in front of more people! Volunteer! I don’t care for what! Anything!
On that note, I have a Christmas Party tonight. I was invited by the Vice President of the co-op board, of the building I have 33 sales in since 2013. I made a significant impression on him and the 33 people I’ve helped to place in that building. What better way to sneak it in, since all the good work is done and these people are INTERESTED in me now, since I had their best interest at the forefront when they needed someone there. 34 more people will be ordering my book when it’s released. Because I made them matter to me, and now I matter to them.
And here’s the good news… there’s thousands of buildings out there 😉