Tuesday, July 4, 2023

The Conversations Authors Must Have

When promoting a book, an author will need to interact with many kinds of people, including booksellers, librarians, members of the news media, and others whom they need to impress in order to win book awards, network on social media, navigate places to speak, and develop markets to sell books. How a writer communicates with others will determine his or her fate.  

Here are 20 pointers on how to successfully speak to those people whom you need to impress: 

1.      Develop greater rapport-building, audit your behavior that is visual (what people see), vocal (what they hear), and verbal (the content of your message).  

2.      When beginning a conversation always ask the other person if this is a good time to chat, even if the call or meeting was scheduled, and confirm how much time they have available. Respect their needs and wishes.   

3.      Find common ground on a personal and/or professional level. Relate to them.   

4.      Make every effort to listen far more than you talk. Seek to understand their needs, desires, challenges, obligations, and burdens - then help them understand how you can help them while you hope to help yourself.  

5.      Speak with metaphors - images of an idea in concrete form and with analogies - comparisons. Make a point that is then demolished by a story, whether real or hypothetical. Help them visualize the world in which you operate.   

6.      Sound encouraging. Help them cultivate success by showing support for their ideas. Show signs that you care, agree, and admire what they share.   

7.      Avoid interruptions but ask good questions. By being inquisitive it shows you have paid attention.  

8.      Provide positive feedback to what they say.   

9.      Don’t compete when you are in a conversation. Don’t try to one-up them or try to hijack their stories and experiences. Let them speak their unique truth.  

10.  Remember to think about your conversation before it begins. Be ready to answer these questions: 


·         What’s my goal with this conversation?

·         What do I want him/her to think/feel/believe/know?

·         What action steps do I want them to agree to?

·         How do I ensure this will lead to another conversation?

·         What does the other person likely want from me?

·         What do I need to know about them ahead of time? 


11.              Summarize throughout the conversation: 


·         Acknowledge the key points they made

·         Show appreciation for their situation

·         Display an understanding of what motivates them

·         Identify the challenges that they are facing 


12.               To be persuasive do the following:


·         Make eye contact often 

·         Alter your pace of speech 

·         Change your voice to reflect emotion and passion

·         Display body language consistent with your words

·         Bring visual aids

·         Tell short stories

·         Show that you have shared values

·         Indicate your commitment to them

·         Appeal to their emotions, reasons, and pride. 

13.       Be sure to avoid controversy. There is no reason unless you seek to be controversial as a selling point, to go off-topic and discuss politics, religion, or sex. Your goal is to get people to like and identify with you - not to argue or cause friction.  


14.              Invite them to ask questions or seek clarification of anything you have said. You want them leaving with a clear understanding of who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.  

15.  Seek to tailor your communication style and content to different situations and types of people. Be aware of whom you are talking to. Is this person more driven by analytics, facts, and functions -- or by style, personality, and appearances - or both? 


16.              Assess what kind of personality you are dealing with. Is this person good-natured, friendly, and expressive of family, friends, and nature, and wildlife, or is this person talkative of adventure and physical extremes, or perhaps about power, money, and conflict, or maybe more intellectual, hypothetical, and debate-oriented, or some other kind of personality? Know whom you speak to.  


17.              Look at their energy level. Can you match their excitement? Can you raise their display of enthusiasm? 


18.              How caring and sensitive do you sound when you talk? Can you display empathy? 

19.       Is the person more positive or more negative? Do you sound inspiring and motivating - or will that rah-rah turn the person off? 


20.              Take a neat and methodical approach to befriending the person you speak to. You can’t go wrong by doing what you can to support them. 

Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. 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 award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it 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 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.  



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