My next book, (which for our purposes here shall henceforth be spoken of as “The Faith Book” because it remains untitled), will release from Random House/Waterbrook early 2014. My dear editor, our own super agent Greg and his fantabulous wife, myself, and every friend and stranger I can pigeon-hole for a title discussion are in the throes of finding that elusive title. Oh, yes, I’m something of a bore about it. Feel free to run if you see me coming.
The mission is simple, and familiar to my fellow non-fiction authors. When my target audience sees this book on the shelves, he or she needs to connect with it, feel the need to purchase it, shove aside the huddled masses that have been awaiting its release, and hoof it to the checkout stand in record-setting speed. Whoa. I must have wandered into a daydream. Back to the real world and your regularly scheduled post.
The reality here is that “The Faith Book” will be vying for attention scraps among countless of those big dog authors, not to mention scores of worthy books, new and old, from authors of every other genre, gracing the shelves. If funds allowed, and they don’t, I would hire an outside publicist with the energy level of Richard Simmons and the marketing skills of whoever is behind Justin How-Did-That-Happen Beiber to beat the drum for it. Instead, I will send it out into the world and recommit to living by my own Happy Dozen Marketing Commandments:
- I will help Waterbrook’s in-house publicist to help me by remembering that I’m only one of many authors she has been assigned and I will remind myself that any media contacts or leads I can gather or pass on to her will help maximize her time, and thus my book’s exposure.
- I will design and mail out postcards for “The Faith Book” to AT LEAST the bookstores that hosted signings for my last book and as many more as I possibly can.
- I will maintain a current database of the stores that graciously welcome me in for a signing and I’ll try to be prompt about following up with thank you notes.
- I will interact with the public as much as possible at book events and do my best to see each individual before me instead of a group. Everyone has a story and every event is an opportunity to capture new ones.
- I will have material (book marks, business cards, etc.) to hand out at book signings so potential book buyers can feel comfortable walking away to consider the purchase instead of being put on the spot to purchase the book.
- I will call radio stations and ask if they are interested in doing giveaways of my book and I’ll consider it a good investment for the trade-off in airtime.
- I will attend as many book festivals as physically possible to connect with readers and writers.
- I will continue to make every effort to see that my weekly newsletter is entertaining and informative, keeping in mind that this is my way of giving back to the All Things Southern community.
- I will not use social media selfishly. Communication, by definition, is a two-way street. My readers are people, not numbers, and they deserve to be treated as such.
- I will support my fellow authors. (Towards that end: Dear author friends, please contact me if you would like to guest on my blog at All Things Southern.)
- I will do readings at area libraries. Their patrons may not buy books, but they are readers. As writers we have a shared responsibility to promote reading.
And number twelve of my Happy Dozen:
- I will enjoy my life while I’m promoting my work, knowing that I am living what I first dreamed many years ago as a little girl perched in the top of my reading/writing mimosa tree. I am a writer and I will be grateful for that privilege.