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Sunday, February 23, 2020

How Should Authors Advocate For Themselves?

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The art of getting what you want from another is something powerful. It is a skill you’ll need to develop and call upon in life, especially when marketing yourself and promoting a book.

It all starts with a mindset. You have to think you deserve what you are asking for. Sure you might be driven by a desperate need or an enterprising dream, but the foundation for success lies in believing in yourself – your abilities to persuade others and your belief that you are in the right, that people must hear what you have to say.

If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.

If you don’t like your message or offer, neither will anyone else.

Tune out their side, their needs, their desires. If you weaken and have feelings for their views, you lose.  In your quiet solitude you can reflect if you were right, best, good or justified, but when you are in the heat of battle, think one-sided. Your side.

Of course, the best negotiators, and dealmakers can’t ignore the other side. You need to expect their argument, anticipate what they could say and imagine where they are coming from.  But don’t let that create empathy towards them. Instead, compile this data and use it against them.

First, take note of your strongest points and offerings. Be ready to convey what you offer and why it’s what they need. Now say it in fewer, more impactful words.

Second, anticipate their opposition and be ready to shoot it down. Move past what they sound strongest about and play up your strengths. You won’t always win on the facts, but you’ll never lose if you play on their perceptions and preconceived notions.

Third, find their fear or pain point. What do they not want to happen? What do they not want to risk? Play that up.

Fourth, be convenient, easy to deal with, quick to serve, and always very polite and friendly.

I promote every day. I promote my services to clients. I promote clients to the media.  But I also promote myself to family, friends, stories, and anyone I must navigate around or deal with.

Sometimes I just like to lobby for sport or because I felt ignored or morally wronged. A case in point happened while on a recent vacation to South Florida.

My hotel was two blocks from the beach so they contract with a vendor to supply chairs and towels to guests while at the beach. Umbrellas and huts are extra.  I was with my wife and two kids. We had to buy two chairs (two come with the room), and an umbrella. But they ran out of towels and said they were coming shortly.  They never came.  They lied.

I complained to my hotel who said they have no control over the vendor, blah blah blah. I pushed a little longer.  She gave me a $25 credit towards food and drink at the hotel. Good. Not done yet.

The next day I complained to the chair rental place. At first they said it was not their fault, blah, blah, blah, and offered me no make-goods. I pushed to speak to a manager. The worker claimed he wasn’t there. I asked her to call him. She said she had customers to tend to. I reminded her I’m a customer.  Eventually a colleague phoned the manager. He showed up 30 minutes later.

I ended up getting two free chairs and an umbrella, valued at $55. I felt better, not because I got $80 worth of compensation, but just knowing that I showed my kids that you need to always speak up (but not like a raving lunatic) – and to lobby for yourself. Don’t ever take no for an answer. Don’t settle for the first offer.

Okay, so contacting the media is not quite the same situation as a consumer complaint, but the idea is similar.  Advocate for yourself. Have a vision.  Believe you are in the right or have something good to offer. Don’t stop until you hear YES!


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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