Tag Archives: self promotion

Worst Sales Pitch Ever

My DH was a Kirby Telemarketer back in the day.  He rocked the house, often securing more “free” carpet cleaning appointments than his co-workers.  He’s a charmer, my DH, and a natural-born salesman.  He could charm a snake out of its skin, then sell it back for a profit and have the snake thanking him in the process.

The telemarketer who called me yesterday couldn’t sell a fishbowl of fresh water to a dehydrated guppy in the middle of the Gobi Desert.  

**Here follows a shortened version of our conversation for the sake of clarity.  These lines are verbatim without the extra condescension smack in the middle of the phone call.**

Him: Can I ask why you don’t want to renew warranty on your 2008 vehicle?

Me: Because it’s still under warranty.

Him, sarcastically: It’s expired.  A vehicle is only under warranty for three years.

Me, losing patience, of which I have times infinity: I would appreciate if you wouldn’t talk to me like I’m stupid.

Him: Well apparently you are.

Yep, he had me.  I simply could not subtract 2008 from 2010 and come up with three years like Boy Genius did.  Thankfully he pointed out the error of my thinking and charmed me right into renewing my warranty.  Not!

Just sayin’, but it might behoove us writers to learn a trick or two before peddling ourselves and our novels to the reading public.

Are you a natural-born salesman or does it take a concerted effort to put yourself out there?  How will/do you handle self-promotion when it comes to marketing yourself and your book?

Got any more What Not To Do stories for our learning pleasure?

How Far is Your Reach?

A recent response on a message board got me thinking about this.  If your book was published today, to what extent can you promote yourself?

Social networking is all the rage, as discussed by Kathleen Y’Barbo at Books & Such Literary Agency.  People tweet, post on their FB walls and blog.  The question is, do these things really sell books?  The commenter who sparked my interest in this topic emphatically stated, “NO!  I have never sold a book through FB or Twitter.”

(Although, how would you know?)

Others claim that book signings are an ancient practice and have a spot at the top of the “Worst Publicity Dollars Spent” list right next to school visits and radio interviews.

I write resumes and have learned the power of tweaking words.  I can make anyone look good on paper, as most writers can.  It’s why we write.  I believe this ability is the biggest pitfall apsiring author’s must face when creating their marketing plan.  A marketing plan is only as good as one is able to execute it.  Editor Lynn Price discusses this at length on her blog. 

While we have grandiose ideas of traveling the country, appearing at all the right events and selling trunk loads of books to the waiting masses, this typically does not happen to Jane and Joe Writer.  Traveling costs money and marketing budgets are small.  Book signings take coordination.  And the masses don’t just miraculously appear because we want them to.

“Fine,” we say with slight indignation.  “If our publisher won’t spend the money letting me sell my Arctic Adventure on the beaches of Cabo, I will use my profit do do so.” 

Think again.  Revenue on books is much smaller than you think.  It will take massive sales to pay for that Cabo holiday book signing.  If you don’t believe me, check out what Agent Nathan Bransford has to say. 

All this information got me pondering what we can and should be doing to promote our writing.  Which tacticts work, which ones are dreams. 

Do you have solid plans regarding self-promotion?  Contacts in all the right places?  Or are you still building your brand and a faithful following of future book buyers?

One thing I know for cetain, when I do get published and begin marketing in earnest, I will work with my agent, editor and publicist as suggested by Agent Kristin on her blog, Pub Rants.