Donald L. Hughes
If you’ve written a book or blog, you want people to read it. But they can’t read either if they don’t know it exists.
How do Christian authors get the word out about their book? Usually in these ways:
- Author website
- Amazon search results
- Facebook or Twitter posts
It’s not that these methods are bad. After all, authors want to do everything possible to promote their book for free before they start spending money on advertising or a publicity service.
Sadly, many authors still think that giving away free copies, or signing up for Kindle Select will help. However, most authors have learned that people who download free books seldom review them. Getting reviews used to be the main reason for offering free books, but with the glut of free Kindle ebooks, you’re special if you get one review for each 1,500 freebie downloaded.
At the same time, Amazon, has betrayed trust with some Kindle Select authors, so it is hard to imagine why an author would want to get tangled up with Kindle Select. There must be better ways to get visibility for your book.
Personal Encounter, Not Remote Control
These popular methods have one thing in common. Authors think they can get stellar results by remote control. They hope their small efforts will “go viral” and notoriety or sales will automatically come their way. It seldom happens. The reality is, most self-published books don’t generate enough income to support promotional campaigns.
So, how can you generate interest in your book? One often overlooked way is to be an ambassador for your own book or blog. Tell people about it when you go shopping or do errands, go to church events, conferences and other meetings.
Let people ask you about your book and engage them in conversation. People love to meet authors. You’ll want to carry extra copies in your trunk, or at least carry business cards with a link to the place they can buy your book online.
How can personal encounters sell lots of books? Because it follows the same dynamic that people use when they try to sell by remote control online. That is, you want to trigger a buzz. More than just sell them a copy of your book, you want to get readers to talk about it with others. Nothing will create buzz for a book like someone telling their friends they talked with the author of an interesting book at the grocery store.
Your one-to-one personal encounter can ignite whole networks of people who will talk about your book, in person or online, and buy it.
By the way, you’re more likely to get a review, and a good one, after you’ve had a personal encounter with someone who buys and reads your book. Go to one meeting, talk with as many people as you can, and you could end up selling dozens of books and getting a review from each reader. That’s what the personal touch will do for you as an author.
Excellent Conversation Starters
How do you get the attention of people you encounter? Not by wearing the name of your book. You’d just be a billboard. You want to create curiosity. You want engender intrigue so people come to you and ask about your work. Give them the opportunity to ask questions.
As the Editor of ChristianWritingToday.com, I designed four different T-shirts, and you’re sure to attract interest when you wear one. Each one comes in five different colors and there are styles for both men and women. They will not only help you promote your book, blog or writing ministry, but also keeps this site alive.
People will ask you questions about your book or blog and you can share the details with them. These conversation starters simply say:
Be an Ambassador for Your Own Book or Blog
Wear one of these T-shirts to any gathering. You’ll become the center of attention as people ask you about your book or blog or writing vision.
You’ll discover it’s an effective way to get people talking about your book or blog or the adventure of writing. Once people learn about you, they’ll want to encourage you. Don’t be surprised if these encounters lead to interviews and speaking engagements. Good things happen when you get visibility.