I spent last weekend at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Summer Conference, where, as is often the case when you gather a pack of writers in one space these days, the subject of marketing and self-promotion came up regularly. Though I do not consider myself an expert on these matters, Author is, technically, a part of the great publishing marketing engine, and as such I have gleaned a few useful tidbits. If you have watched even a handful our interviews you may have noticed that we rarely focus on the author’s current work, particularly when the author has written a work of fiction. There are two reasons for this. First, I quickly discovered that listening to fiction writers describe their story – no matter how brilliant, how compelling, how revolutionary that story may be – is boring. This is not the fault of the writer or their novel, but of the fault of the medium. Novels are meant to be read, not summarized.
Instead, I talk about what is interesting – namely, the author. In my interviews I hope to create a platform from which the author can express what interests them most, frightens them most, turns them on, and turns them off. I hope to create a platform where a writer can talk about what they have learned and what they would like to learn still. In short, I try to create a platform where the author can talk about what it is to be human.
This will always be interesting to other humans. And in my experience when one human finds another human interesting they are sometimes compelled to buy a book that the other human has written. Maybe it will be as interesting as the person. And so, particularly if you are a fiction writer, your first and best marketing tool is a good book. Nothing can replace that. But your second best marketing tool is not your Facebook page or your twitter account, but you.
So go out in the world and find some means to share what interests you most. Share it in a blog, in lectures, in seminars, in tweets and posts and videos—share it, share it, share it. Your interests are interesting and so are you.
Remember to catch Bill every Tuesday at 2:00 PM PST/5:00 EST on his live Blogtalk Radio program Author2Author!