Almost everyday I am asked about promotion techniques, as though its some big dark secret or a black art, well fortunately, it is neither of those. Typically good promotion comes from answering a few basic questions and then doing what comes natural, you will usually find that in addition to promoting your work, this will put you head and shoulders above everyone else. What kind of questions? The same ones that you asked when you started writing your book:
Who will want to read this? Why will they want to read this? Where will they be when they read this? (then, my favorite) What’s in it for them? In other words what do THEY get for reading your work?
It just so happens that yesterday I was able to give my very 1st presentation on Christine: Portrait of a Teenage Walkaway. For those of you keeping track, no I have not finished the book yet, for crying out loud, its barely been 21 hours much less 21 days. So how do you give an exciting, enticing presentation on your book, when you really haven’t even figured out how its all going to work out, much less written much of it?
Simple: Answer some questions.
1) Who will want to read my book? Well this started as a semi autobiographical work of how onw unusual person in an unusual situation, impacted my life. But it is VERY rapidly growing outside of those constraints, as good writing will. So now I would like to see every student between the ages of 12 – 20, all teachers in secondary and post secondary public and private schools and their administrators, as well as some members of local government. Not a HUGE list, but big enough to start.
2) Why will they want to read this? That’s where my presentation comes in. I made it as “personal” as I could, you couldn’t be a parent and be in that room and not have your mouth fall open! Plus I only hinted at what they could do to follow the books progress, not what to do about the issue in the book.
3) One of the things that my mentor advised me when I started writing is to keep your tone conversational and your chapters digestible. Ever had a book you really wanted to read but you know you would need to take notes or devote your full attention etc? Well That’s someone who has MISSED the mark. That’s not a book that can be read anywhere. You want you book to be read anywhere!
4) What’s in it for them? Well in my presentation (did I mention it was only 7 minutes), I gave them someone to ID with, a problem, made it personal, and gave them a possible way they could help. Now one of Mazlows Needs is duty, so by “helping others or being given the impression of helping others they are feeling fulfilled or inspired. In other words they are being given a “simple” way to feel good. Something EVERYONE wants.
Now, back to the 7 minutes, if you look through your notes you will find that we have talked about your elevator speech. Well trust me THAT is the hardest one your going to write, but it will also serve as the core of the rest! My 7 minutes could easily have turned into 37, or and hour and seven, cutting it down to LESS than seven would be hard, but possible. You just lose some of your ‘atmosphere.’ So that’s what YOU need to do. Sit down, write your elevator speech, you know the 30 second answer to: So what are you working on? Then take that out to 10 minutes, then go all the way to 30. From there an hour should be NO problem. BTW one page of typed text in line and ½ spacing, is about 2.5 minutes of a presentation. SO, check it out.
While you working on that, if you flip over to Christine’s page tomorrow you’ll be able to listen to 30 seconds or so, of my presentation. This was when I “brought it home to them.
So until then don’t stop reading and for heaven sake, DON’T STOP WRITING!