Saturday, May 09, 2009

Wanna Sleep With Me?

Wanna sleep with me? Whoa! That question's more than a little crass. So is "Wanna buy my book?" much better? I'm a lousy salesperson. I HATE to sell things. I am NOT a promo guru. What I am is a storyteller and a writer. I'm a hopeful romantic. I'm a Star Trek geek. I'm an American Idol fanatic. And I'm hopelessly in love with men. I never dreamed that I'd have to become a salesman when I became a published author. That's the publisher's job. Right? Wrong! Unless your name is Stephen King or Nora Roberts, don't hold your breath waiting for your publisher to do a lot of promotion for just you. They may not do much for their publishing house, either. I'm lucky in that some of my publishers do a lot of promotion. However, that's primarily for their publishing house. They send out newsletters. They hold contests. Sometimes they chip in with group ads. All that's great. I'm very grateful. Still, the heavy yoke of an author's promotion still burdens the writer. We have to find ways to promote if we want people to hear about our books even if they're in dead tree stores. If they're only in digital format, we must work harder on our promotion. Still, it doesn't work to shout, "Buy my book!" You might as well shout, "I'm a moron! Save yourself! Run the other way!" I don't know about you, but I don't like braggarts. I hate hard sell salespeople. The only thing I hate more than hard sell salespeople is being one. I want to be schmoozed. I want to be romanced. I want to be courted. Become my friend, at least a friendly acquaintance, and I'll be on your side. I imagine I'm not alone in this feeling. One of my favorite movies is "Romancing The Stone" with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. Sexy Michael romanced that emerald right out of Kathleen unlike the bumbling thieves and gun-happy soldiers who tried to force Kathleen to hand over the jewels. Michael was much smarter than those bozos. Of course, he fell in love with Kathleen, too, which is okay. So just as I would never ask a stranger or even a friend, "Wanna sleep with me?", I wouldn't say, "Buy my book". I'm not one who asks for votes, either. Obviously, I'm not a politician any more than I'm a marketer. Of course, I've identified myself as a customer service type person. I like to solve problems, soothe sore people, and make everybody happy. I'd much rather spend my time writing stories that make people happy, chat with my blog and email friends, and have lunch with my friends at work than sell anything. You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

3 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

Psst...you want to hear about this summer's next guilty pleasure? It's all about this guy and this girl, and oh wait...you read my blog so you already KNOW about it!

Hahaha...sweetheart, your excerpts and covers sell themselves. When I'm at book signings, I make sure to note where the bathrooms are, and various other interests, as I become the tour guide! I've also discovered if you bribe people with chocolate, they'll at least pick up a bookmark and ask about it:)

And some time 'tour guide' status pays off...last year at the Wine and Art Fair, I sent so many people to the booth with the blueberry wine, the owner gave me a bottle in exchange for a copy of my book for his wife! I love the barter system...

Ashley Ladd said...

Sounds like a great barter system.

When I did book signing, it seemed like kids ate all my candy and the parents usually didn't look at my books.

I got pretty good at telling people where to find the bathroom.

Amarinda Jones said...

"Vote for me" people are so tacky and crass and the level of desperation that comes from them is frightening in the fact they can't see it

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