by Ann Charles
I’m not a great plotter. I’m not a great editor, either. I’m so-so at marketing and promotion, and I scrape by as a blogger. So, what am I thinking by trying to write and sell books? Well, as you might have guessed, I’m not exactly known for my brilliant ideas. But two things I am good at are being stubborn and driven (borderline monomaniacal about anything to do with the subject of writing, according to some family members). I’m also not too bad at asking for help when it comes to spreading the word about my books.
It’s not easy, it takes a lot of humility, and it takes a bit of people-reading. You have to be willing to ask for help, and then you have to show each person how they can help you. The key is figuring out the individual strengths of those around you, and then convincing them how easy it is to talk about your book.
When it comes to motivating your village members, kindness and “thank you” go a long way. I also like to give folks fun stuff, like magnets, key chains, signed posters, and other relatively low cost promotional items. Plus, I thank them publicly online (Facebook, blogs, and Twitter) and in workshops and articles. This brings me back to the subject of humility, as in recognizing that you can’t make a book a bestseller on your own, and never forgetting that fact, no matter how many sales you make and awards you win.
We all have strengths, and we spend a lot of time and money on self-help books and workshops to figure out what those strengths are. Instead, why not start figuring out the strengths of those in the village around you? The key to success is selling books. You don’t have to do it all on your own.
Optical Delusions in Deadwood is available online in May 2011 and in print in July 2011.(Come back on Friday for an excerpt).
Contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org.