A lil love goes a long way – Promote your thoughts, not just your product

Happy Friday to all! Recurring topic of conversation I’ve had with fellow authors – what to blog about? Is blogging even necessary? Aren’t you supposed to write and promote your work when all is said and done, and the awful marketing process starts? And when you’re not promoting your book, write another book, and don’t waste time blogging about today, and how you feel, because no one cares.

Well…If you want to establish a brand, you will have to sell not only your books, but your personality too. If readers know nothing about you, what chances do you have to stand out among the millions of other books available?

Here’s my take on this. If you disagree with my opinion, more power to you. But if you’re looking to establish yourself as a brand, maybe my words of advice will help you.

Social media and blogging help tremendously with building your brand. I don’t believe in the “I’m a recluse and all I do is write” type of deal, because as a recluse, you will remain a recluse. No one will come and look for you (besides family members). And yes writing is important – DUH! – but blogging and posting on social media is equally important. You will sell more if you advertise more. And when I say advertise, I mean sell your personality, not just coupons.

I will read your book if I like the perception I have of you. You can be a complete dickhead in real life, I won’t start an investigation to figure you out, but the simplest, funniest, corkiest posts on your blog or Facebook or Twitter account can take you a very long way. No need to be selfish, and claim you don’t write for free. WTF is that anyway? I don’t write for free? Really? Writing is about writing, money comes next. If you don’t love the art for the sake of the art, and your sole objective is to make money, well, choose another career path. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many tweets I see that are only about selling a product, but what about your thoughts, huh? Your objectives, your fears, your struggles…Oh I get it, you want to keep all that stuff to yourself, you selfish lil bastard.

Because why share the love? Why? Love is free to give, so where’s the point?

Well, I don’t stick to that standard. Trust me, I tried. And I felt like a salesman. Writing became a chore because my main objective was to promote my book. Look at me, I published something, yay! Now buy it. Go buy my book. Go. I’m telling you to go buy it, darn it. Why don’t you buy it?????

Pulling hair and grinding teeth, drinking way too many caffeinated drinks and not sleeping, wondering when I’ll sell a book, I told myself – just telling people to buy your book won’t make them buy it. You gotta sell more than that. Share the love – FOR FREE!!! – and watch your following grow, slowly, but surely. And then someday, someone will buy your book and review it – 5 STARS!! I’m gonna pass out – and maybe the sales will drop again, but guess what? Money is not my main objective.

I want to have fun. Writing isn’t supposed to become a chore. Don’t take me wrong, I love writing, and wish I could write all day. Reality told me I couldn’t because my dream – and my $5 in sales – won’t pay my bills – yet. I still need the day job. I’ve accepted that fact, and learned to enjoy it. And I admit I didn’t push very hard my marketing. LOL

Even bestselling authors struggle with low sales. It’s a fact. Once you’ve made the top of that NYT list – or any kind of list – bask in the light for as long as you can, but return to your desk and computer pronto, and write more. Promote yourself more. Keep sharing the love, keep entertaining people. And if you feel like it, give away coupons and swags too. Heck! Whatever works for you.

Give, give, give. You’ll get so much in return. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but down the line, you will. It’s true. I’m not delusional. 😉

That’s it for today. Have a good weekend folks!

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