Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking to a high school literary group. I shared my journey as an author, passed out free bookmarks, and showed them the original manuscript.
I thought they would find the facts dull, but instead, their eyes lit up and there was a “connection.” We conversed about writing and marketing instead of me merely pitching Tears of Min Brock like a sleazy car salesman. In short, I’ve found MY way to connect with my audience and readers. And walking out to my car, I also realized that for a brief moment, I was a teacher. What a great feeling!
This shouldn’t surprise me. After all, my Dad was a college professor and had a true gift for taking complex subject matter and not only making it palatable, but enjoyable to learn.
Sure, I hope all those kids went home, looked up my book and ordered it. But even if they didn’t, I’m still going to reach out to other schools.
I’ve been researching, debating, pondering, considering the whole “FREE BOOK!” phenom as a marketing tool. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but this blog is one of the better examples I’ve read supporting the notion.
“I found this to be one of my favorite books of the year, and am looking forward to the sequel. Lowder writes a story that does not disappoint.” Tic Toc review
“I have again found one of those fascinating epic fantasy worlds that are daunting and dangerous, yet broodingly beautiful as well.” Taking it One Page at a Time
“As the book began, I thought the characters of Elabea and Galadin reminded me of Katniss and Gale from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.” Literary R&R
“Reading Tears of Min Brock felt like a mature version of a Narnia type adventure. Like Dekker’s work, it is darker but not in a way that traumatizes a faint reader. I found Tears of Min Brock a well-told read, one where with older children the story could be a family nightly reading adventure.” The Cypress Times
If you can’t see, then how do you know where you’re going? How do you know when you arrive?
Without vision, you’re lost.
Although this sounds like banter from a motivational speaker, please bear with me.
Whether I like it or not, I’m the captain responsible for sailing my books out into the marketplace. This is frustrating because my passion is writing fiction and storytelling, not being a sales guy. Yet if I don’t take this on, no one will. I’ve also come to the conclusion that since no one has the same drive/passion for my books as I do, that I’m the man for the job. So I’ve rolled up my sleeves and grabbed the helm.
But to me, marketing is a blinding sea storm of chaos. So many voices shouting, “Do this!” or “Gotta head this way!” and the perilous, “You’ll never make it unless you__”
Instead of feeling like I’m on target, I feel like I am the target!
So I’m going to stop “doing” and “go below deck” to determine what I want and why. Based upon Michael Hyatt’s blog, this is paramount to setting my compass. My subsequent answer to “why” will illuminate my “how to.”
This feels unnatural and even a bit frightening (“If I stop, won’t we sink?” or “Resting constitutes laziness!”) But if I don’t, then I’ll be doing something even worse: sailing blindly into who knows what.