Taking your book to market: what’s it really about? #Awp14

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I’m having a ridiculous amount of fun at AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) in Seattle. I’m quickly working on getting the my to do list done and am excited to listen to fantastic speakers.

One theme that keeps coming up in panel and workshop discussions are book promotions and/or marketing.

Or how I’d like to think about it: You have this book now so what the heck are you supposed to do with it?

So far, I’ve been to two panels that touched this same topic in different ways, but over all the message is the same–interaction is king. It’s all about the long sale. For example, should you still do book readings even if you don’t sell very many books? Yes, because it’s about people seeing you and interacting with you. They may not buy now but they can and probably will later. Also, bookstore folks are great for helping to push out your book.

This, of course, was intriguing because I never thought to not do a reading when the time comes but, if you’re an indie writer and distributing your own stuff, how does the book reading help you, if at all?

Here’s some great quotes and thoughts I heard on this subject during the conference.

“The number one thing to keep books moving is personal connection.”

“As an author, you’re in the business of representing yourself.”

Tip: invite people to your reading personally. Take the time to write everyone you know or everyone on your list a personal note inviting them out.

Tip: Think about banning together with other authors to promote books.

“It’s not about broadcasting; it’s about connecting. ” (About promoting yourself and your book.)

“The best way to sell a book is to write a good book.”

“It’s about giving it legs in the long term.”

Tip: It’s about distribution and sharing

Tip: Invent new ways of bringing readers and writers together

Tip: 3 rules of dealing with book clubs: Be nice, don’t be defensive, don’t drink too much.

Tip: Indie bookstores and libraries are a great way to connect with book clubs.

“Be yourself.” (while promoting)

What did you think about these tips? Have more to share? Hit the comments below.

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