Let me say this, as a book marketer of three decades, I don’t care what your book is about. I don’t care how well written it is. I don’t care about what you did for the past decade. As a book marketer, what I do care about, aside from whether you can afford to hire a publicist (lol), is whether you have a personality or public persona that can really sell the book. When it comes to publicity and marketing, it is all about perceptions and personalities. Style over substance.
This does not mean you have to be a circus act, nor does it mean you have to insult people, be crude, or say crazy shit to get attention – though it doesn’t hurt. No, what I am saying is every author has to find not just a writing voice but his or her own public persona.
You need to sell yourself in a way that gets attention. Being quiet, reserved, shy, or ordinary won’t do in the marketplace of personality-driven media and book sales.
So what do we do when an author is not a loudmouth, who isn’t pushy, and who choses to speak in an intelligent, high-ground manner?
We package and promote the author in a way that people want to see them, not how the author views him or herself.
The first thing an author must do is take a realistic look at him or herself and evaluate how they come off to others. From what perspective does someone see you? Are you known by your looks, voice or mannerisms? Is it the way you get a point across or tell a story? Do they view you as a credentialed expert or something else?
Do certain demographics overwhelm how one sees you, meaning do they see you, say, as a Black person before they even listen to what you have to say? Or as a woman, or a Jew, or a foreigner – or any of a dozen types? Do they focus on physical traits – tall, fat, old, ugly… whatever? Some things can be addressed, fixed or improved upon – and some things are how they are and no one should have to apologize for who they are. Still, people judge us, put us in a box, and label us in two seconds.
Let’s focus on the following:
· Evaluate how people see you.
· Determine how you want to be seen.
· Work at appearing and sounding the way people want to absorb you.
Does this mean you should be someone you are not? No. Does it mean you should get a wardrobe makeover, change your hairstyle, and make some physical adjustments? Certainly.
When it comes to your energy levels, you can look into that. Do you need a different diet? More sleep or exercise? More caffeine? A change in medications? Explore.
Nothing stops you from smiling, being empathetic, and sounding knowledgeable on your subject matter, right?
Most importantly, think about your core persona as you present on your book, area of expertise, or views. You may be dominated by certain traits – good humor, story teller, information-sharer, etc. You may come off as a certain type – the caring mom, the sage old guy, the activist young woman, the determined immigrant, the successful entrepreneur, the victim, and on and on. So many types are out there. Which one do you want to project?
Are you the:
· Resource sharer?
· Stat citer?
· Rebellious challenger?
· Tireless advocate?
· Odds overcomer?
· Human interest story?
None of the above? No problem. Pick a persona and be that person.
Marketing a book and yourself is comparable to posting a personal ad or a dating profile. You are who you are at the heart of things, but we all need to present a resume that seems palatable to those we seek to impress. Figure out not just who you are, but how you want to be seen -- and then go full force into that direction.
Learn, Grow, Succeed!!
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at email@example.com. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby 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. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.
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