Have you ever gone onto a workshop expecting to learn gold nuggets and instead, you were offered old and very rusted iron pellets?
That’s what happened to me recently.
Let me explain….
At the last conference I attended, I went to a workshop supposedly on promotions. Since it was one of the only classes on marketing at the conference, I looked forward to it immensely. After all, it’s where I am in my career – needing to learn everything I can about how to sell my books.
I’ve taught myself many things by trial and error, but then so have others. Therefore I expected that the presenter was going to share some of her golden nuggets of information that would enable me to find yet another way to reach readers.
Having looked forward to this, I moved to the front row, sat down and got my pen and notebook ready.
When the presenter started off telling us that we didn’t need to give away our bookmarks to all and sundry, or that we didn’t even need to have any kind of swag at all, instead to save our money, I was with her. It’s a choice and not for everyone.
When she said that we didn’t need to have a website or Twitter, hell she didn’t have one now did she...?? I kinda wished I could ask her how her sales were going and if she was on any of the best-seller lists. But – nah I still hung in there, beginning to wonder about where this was heading. Still, I waited optimistically.
When she bashed Facebook and every other site on the internet that helps authors get the word out to others, I’m beginning to think I should call in the paramedics cause she was sounding dangerous…. I’m thinking loonie-tunes.
Frothing inside, wanting to negate all the drivel she was spouting, thinking that some of her audience just might be taking her seriously, after all, she was quite affable and likeable, I nevertheless had to hang in there to see just exactly what would be her eventual pearls of wisdom about promoting.
Finally - hands sore from gripping the pen and notebook to stop myself from interrupting and telling her what a foolish, traditional sounding kook she was - the woman shared her secret.
Write a good book she said. Then write another. Good books sell!!
Yeah right! By now, words were clamoring to get loose – “AND WHO’S GOING TO KNOW ABOUT THESE BLASTED GOOD BOOKS TO BUY THEM,” I wanted to yell so badly.
Still, I waited. Not because I was enjoying myself, but because I was sitting right in front and I knew I’d feel terrible if I just got up and left. And truthfully, I really was curious.
Aha! Ten minutes before the end of the hour, she came up with her final suggestion. Write a blog!! I’m not kidding you – she was going to (did you get that last few words???) GOING TO, hadn’t done it yet, going to start a blog about cooking because we all like to eat, readers eat, and therefore they would see her books on the side of her blog page. Not wanting to burst her bubble about just how many blogs there were out there about food, I started to internally giggle until it was all I could do not to burst out laughing and disrupt the class.
An amusing thought took hold, hilarious… How the hell was she going to get people to come and read her blog????
Deep breath! Count to ten! Stop laughing…
Once I finally calmed down, it dawned on me that the worst part of this whole regrettably wasted hour was that someone might have believed her. Newbies wanting to hear gold nuggets and not recognizing it was fool’s gold. Unfortunate souls who left there thinking – it’s really okay if I don’t put my energies into social media. I just need to do the one thing I love and that’s write.
For those of you who have no expectations for sales, sure go for it. Just write! Be happy.
But know one thing! If I haven’t taught you anything else, let me share with you this pure gold nugget. How can you expect to sell a book no one but your family and friends know about?? You need to stretch and learn. You NEED to get busy. Take your pick of the evil social media choices, that’s fine, but for heaven’s sake do your homework. Research your business and get on board.
Promoting your work is an absolutely necessary evil. So stop fooling yourself.
Do you agree??