All she wants, she says, is to sit blissfully in her garret where she belongs.
I sympathize -- to a point. But I don’t agree -- not at all. Here’s why.
Promoting a book means expressing in words who you are, what you think, how you feel, what you imagine -- and sharing all that with other people?
Isn’t that exactly what writing a book is all about, too?
Think about it. Writing a book and promoting a book are both about speaking up. Proudly having your say. Joining in the conversation. Being heard.
So if writing a book is what you like to do, promoting a book is surely something you can not only tolerate but actively enjoy. Here are three ways I’ve found to take joy in book promotion:
Start before you publish. Long before I found a publisher, I sought out opportunities to be heard about my journey into Jewish Lithuania, past, present, and future. I gave talks at synagogues, libraries, and Jewish cultural centers. I wrote articles for newspapers and magazines. These opportunities were energizing and inspiring. They gave me a chance to test out the best ways to communicate what I had to say – which helped me write a better book.
Target your “super fans.” In the run-up to publication, I made a list of the people I most wanted to read the book. My list included not only people I knew (family, friends, mentors, people who’d read drafts) but also people I didn’t know -- writers and thinkers I admired; scholars in the fields of Holocaust studies, European and Jewish history; tolerance leaders and public officials. The first book promotion task I gave myself was to inform these people about the book. Reaching out in this way felt as important as writing the book in the first place.
Embrace the challenge. My book promotion plan requires me to communicate my “message” in lots of different ways. I have to -- or as I see it, I get to -- write articles, op-ed pieces, guest blogs, website copy, press releases, e-mail blasts, Facebook messages, and tweets. I have to -- that is, I get to -- craft book talks and conference presentations, give interviews, and succinctly describe the book to people I run into. All of which involves solving problems, finding the right words, expressing myself to the best of my ability.
Just like…writing a book.
Join the conversation. What makes book promotion enjoyable -- or anything but -- for you?
Ellen Cassedy’s book is We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust (University of Nebraska Press, 2012). Her first post for SheWrites was “Who Cares about Your Family Story? Ten Tips to Ensure Readers Will ...” Her [TIPS OF THE TRADE]series appears monthly. See all of Ellen's Tips for Writers.