In a perfect world . . .
In a perfect world:
. . . you’d start your book marketing and publicity plans the moment you have the idea for the book.
. . . you’d start with the big vision, pinpoint your audience or avatar, plan on how best to reach them and then build an organic plan that is fun for you and will reach those you need to reach.
. . . you’d know your destination and then would reverse engineer how you’re going to get there.
. . . you’d give yourself time and make a plan and consult with those who can most give you help to reach that vision.
. . . you’d give yourself two years to create, share, and promote your book in the world before moving on to the next one.
. . . you’d build that advance team that I’m always harping about and have 400 or more on the team…
But we all know the world isn’t perfect, don’t we?
So we have to start where we are.
Where are you with your book’s promotion?
Perhaps you’ve taken a bit of a break from it with all the challenging news lately, e.g., Covid-19, racial tensions, an upcoming election, the economy, and all the other difficult, challenging problems facing all of us.
Or perhaps you are moving forward. Depending on your topic, this really might be a good time for you to not only gain exposure for your book but to actually help people.
Suzanne Falter is an example of this. Her book is The Extremely Busy Woman’s Guide to Self Care, and we’ve pivoted toward how busy women are no matter what is going on! If they’re at work or at home, they are busy, particularly if they have a job and a family.
I don’t need to tell you that books offer hope, comfort, escapism, information, fun, delight, surprise, and any other appropriate word that comes to mind. Those of us who love books know their power. Let’s use this. Here are some important suggestions for doing just that.
If you’re sitting this out for a while, that’s OK, but if you want to move forward and continue to promote your book, then remember: You are needed, and needed in a huge way.
Watch the tone
Whether it’s your blog or on social media, now is not the time to be salesy in any way. We are all going through this pandemic, but everyone is experiencing it in a different way. We need to be sensitive to that. I know you are, but isn’t it amazing how many people are not?
Careful with the ads
If you’re doing any social media advertising or posting of any kind, be careful of the content. You don’t want to come across as someone who is completely out of touch with what is going on in the US and in countries around the world. This doesn’t mean you have to talk directly about the news, but it does mean that doing a big promotion to get people to buy something may backfire and have you looking like you’re completely oblivious. There are ways to do this, however, that show you as the enlightened person you are.
Social media is a powerful tool these days. You can have an impact right away simply by going live on social channels. People can join you, offer comments, you can speak your message directly to them, and the video stays there for anyone who wants to see it later. This can be massively fun for you and a great way to offer connection and help.
Watch the platitudes and overused phrases
We’ve touched on staying away from crutch words and phrases in the past, but there are current ones related to the pandemic that stand out now — and not in a good way. I notice others complaining about their overuse as well. For example, “In these uncertain times,” “In these difficult times,” “We’re all in this together, “The new normal,” and on and on. Those phrases were really impactful early on, but now they’ve become throw-away lines when someone doesn’t know what else to say. If you’re a writer, you can do better. We all can. It’s lazy not to.
If you can help, let people know
If you have a book that can be soothing, a distraction, calming, hopeful, then let people know that. It’s perfectly fine to say so and you should.
Media wants relevant stories
If your book ties into the headlines of today, then you really must put yourself out there and get the coverage. You could be helping so many, and one thing I know about working with hundreds of authors over the years is that they want to help.
Remember to tap your own networks
Now is an excellent time to turn to those who know you and have already connected with you. They will want to share your message, particularly if it’s one of hope. Ask others to help you amplify your message.
My mantra these days is, “The sun will shine again one day.” None of us knows exactly how all of this is going to play out, but it will, and we will persevere. If you have a message that can help others to weather the storm, then you really have the opportunity and the obligation to do so now. Let me know if I can help.
To your success!
P.S. We all need to soothe ourselves sometimes. Here’s some music just for that. Ahhhhh. . . . . .