Perhaps the secret to promoting a book is to find a way to get people to feel that whatever you say is about them. We are clearly in the selfie world. It’s been that way for a long time. The 1970-generation was declared as the “Me Generation.” We’ve focused on ourselves for a long time. It’s always about me – or you. Who else would it be about?
My 10-year-old son came across a selfie stick at a store and begged me to buy it. I told him “no”.
“Why?” he asked, as if wondering why Iran and America don’t get along, as if he were so puzzled by my decision.
Because it promotes a narcissistic culture,” I shot back.
“What’s so bad about it?” he continued asking. “I know people who have it and they aren’t self-obsessed.”
My default reaction is to say no to any requests from him to buy anything, but I especially wasn’t excited to encourage a life of self-centeredness. On the other hand, I taught him to save and spend his money wisely. If he wants it, he can use his own money.
But it’s clear that people care about themselves, perhaps more than ever. We’re so busy sharing our lives online with anyone who will read our comments, view our videos, or download our photos.
Authors need to discuss their books in a way that people hear about their lives, their views, their preferences, their needs, their shares. It has to be expressed through the viewfinder of your reader. Filter everything through the mindset of that reader.
So how do you do that?
You set up your blog, website, or speech so that it invites feedback, input, and direct participation from your fans. Ask them questions. Take polls and surveys. Seek their photos, videos, podcasts and blogs. Encourage them to talk back to you. Acknowledge their efforts, opinions, and actions. Honor them. Speak their lingo. Share with them as if they were your friends or family. Let them feel you are a friend..
Find ways for people to express themselves. At a public appearance, do a Q&A. Encourage people to bring posters or wear T-shirts that make statements. Encourage them to sing, applaud, speak, or do something vocally or physically to feel engaged.
Of course, you can’t do any of this unless it comes naturally and feels genuine. You’ll come to enjoy these spirited interactions with dedicated fans. Everyone’s looking for purpose, meaning, and significance. Perhaps writers and readers alike can find it through one another. In any case, remember, it’s not about you, but me – and him and her.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015
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