Aloha from Karen, CAN Treasurer
A friend who is a promoter mentioned that people can easily do damage when promoting themselves. They may talk too long, push too hard, or sound like a carnaval barker. Listen to ads and what turns you off, as well as what piques your interest in a product. And our talk, as Scripture reminds us, should be seasoned with salt (lightly not forceful selling).
The best promotion is still word of mouth (word of mouse also works well when the mouse is in someone else’s hand). Considering that., when speaking it is always best to let someone else praise your book. That means letting the person introducing you praise the book, or letting the host of a media show praise the book and remind people of the book.
When you speak it’s best to talk about the topic and let your passion for the book show. Always avoid saying, “in my book.” Give the talking points and people interested in the topic will want the book. For example, I recently spoke to a group of mothers of preschoolers (MOPS) about the benefits of teaching with rhymes. I have a book on rhymes, but I stayed focused on explaining the benefits and fun of using rhymes for developing language, social skills, and coordination. I also had fun letting moms finish familiar rhymes. I did say one rhyme from the book, but otherwise I didn’t talk about the book itself. Over half the mothers there bought a copy. I also sold many of my other book titles.
My friend Steve Lawson (editor at Regal) lets books do their own talking on twitter. He promotes Regal books of A. W. Tozer. These are newer releases based on manuscripts found in recent years. Steve simply posts quotes from the book on twitter. Most get retweeted, and when he sees high numbers of retweets he also sees peaks in sales.
As authors we need to continue to believe in the value of the message or story in our books and know that when the message resonates with readers the books will sell. If we talk about the message/story people will want to know more (appeal to natural curiosity). If we bark out that people need the book (giving the title and a pushy sell statement) it’s less likely to sell (people feel conned rather than convinced). Rejoice in people who promote your books and are the mouth pieces for sales because it’s always better when a third party recommends the book.
It’s also more engaging to speak from passion and connect contents with real needs.