Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Author Marketing Lessons From Second City Comedy

How well do you improvise?  

That answer will help you predict your ability to successfully promote and market your book. Maybe you need to watch improv comedians to pick up a few tricks.

I took in a show at Second City, the famed comedy theater in Chicago, while attending this year’s Book Expo.  I was impressed at how these young comics come together to work in a challenging environment every day.  They were strangers who train together and find a way to incorporate random thoughts and odd utterances from the audience into their show. No sketch is ever done twice because the changing participation of paying customers makes each show live-by-the-seat-of-their-pants.

I suspect authors have a similar challenge.  Each day they must make speaking engagements and Q&A’s work in their favor.

They must be ready to spit out social media posts and to quickly respond to comments and give feedback of others.  They also have to be ready to isAre You A Good Career Role Model To Others?sue press releases and statements based on the news cycle, seeking to comment on what’s in the news in a way that leads them to get media coverage.  They also must press the flesh and network in person so that they can put themselves in a position of discoverability.

Some authors just don’t like doing these things or they struggle to do them well.  They can take a page out of the Second City comedy troupes and find a way to naturally mix seemingly strange, conflicting or unrelated topics and stir them up in a tasty soup.

What do authors need to do that these comics do so well?

1.      Smile all the time.
2.      Laugh at yourself.
3.      Say things with passion and conviction.
4.      Be ready to go off-script.
5.      Say what comes to your mind.
6.      Feed off of the audience or people you’re communicating with.
7.      Know that even if you stumble, fumble, and bumble, there’s another show or opportunity that awaits you.

Maybe if all else fails with your book, you can pursue a career in comedy.

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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 He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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