Speak to Your Passion and Extend Your Reader Reach
Sure, there’s plenty of author promotion advice out there. Keep blogs short; build sassy headlines; do signings, press conferences, engage in social media, etc. But the greater issue with which most writers struggle is to find that elusive “hook” that will continue to resonate with the niche of readers you’re trying to attract and engage, for your book or books.
It’s not always easy, I know. But I can tell you this: If your book/writing has a platform (and they ALL do – sometimes you just have to dig for it) then hey, you have something to shout about!
The Bigger Picture
Even if you believe your story is “small,” it’s not. There’s always a bigger picture/issue lurking around the corner. So think about widening your lens where your own work is concerned. Ask yourself these two questions: “To whom does my writing speak?” and “What can I share with those people that matters?”
Here are just five examples from clients that may help get you thinking about your passion focus:
- Where’s the Justice: Jacqueline Gum, author of Confessions of a Corporate Slut, has just completed her second novel, The Accuser’s Burden, and is working on a third. Discovering a common thread in all her work relates to social injustice, she began blogging on those you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me moments we all have. With biting wit and thoughtful entries she’s creating an audience of like-minded readers who will continue to want to read her work, no matter what issue she’s tackling!
- Deeper Issues: Bren McClain is completing a literary fiction novel, the root of which is about a mother’s love. She discovered, through writing about cows (yes, cows) and maternal love, a whole world of animal lovers and animal rights activists who share her passion for respecting our furry friends. Writing simple yet poignant observations about cows and goats and turkeys and our treatment of animals has brought her amazing connections with readers, as well as organizations who are eager to offer her work to their members!
- Winning Ways: Fred Fields, author of How Short Hitting, Bad Golfers Break 90 All the Time simply began posting golf tips – on Facebook and Twitter, then on some golf social networks, occasionally commenting on other people’s posts with some advice. When his book sales went from a handful every month to several hundred, to over a thousand (yes, a month) he also launched a blog.
- Sharing Loss: Pattie Welek Hall connected with major groups that shared recovering from the loss of a child, all by blogging. Writing on that and on traumatic brain injury has been both cathartic and productive, allowing her to connect with other organizations worldwide, parents who have suffered loss, family members who have experienced miracles, and readers who she inspires. Taking that one step further, Pattie created her own Joy Radio show. Pattie interviews authors and other inspirational artists on her weekly show, offering them a platform for their work, and drawing the attention of readers to topics that matter.
- Characters Welcome: Lynne Marie authored the historical romance novel, The Seahawk’s Sanctuary. Lynne offers true variety in her blog postings that are reflective of her (and yes, she IS a character!) My favorites are those that give us a closer glimpse into the time period of her book, much of it set against the backdrop of 1700s and the South Carolina sea coast. And when she includes favorite recipes of her characters (true to historic renderings), well, the results are delicious! Readers are already looking forward to what her 12th century tome, Lion’s Lair, will feature… Which is all to say, you may not decide on a single issue or formula, and that’s okay, too, if your personality shines through so you’re finding your readers.
Though each of the writers in these examples writes about unique topics, with varying writing styles, in a range of genres; they all have a key component in common: PASSION for their subjects that got them putting pen to paper in the first place. Passion SHOWS, folks. And the greater the passion for your own topics, the easier it will be to find the niche of readers who share YOUR passions.
Keep in mind: It’s not about connecting with the most readers, but with the readers who will want to read your words.