There has never been a civilization that didn’t use language and tell stories in some form or another. Stories are primordial. We all want to know our lives have meaning, and connecting through stories accomplishes that.
As a writer, you invest significant emotional energy in writing your book. You should take no less effort in marketing your book. As you consider your plan for marketing your book (you have one, right?), think about new ways to incorporate your own story. When I begin working with authors, I ask them to share five things about themselves that no one knows. The answers can open up a world of possibilities for marketing your book.
Hey, you write stories for a living! Now it’s time to tell your own.
1. Marketing Your Book Is About Leveraging Your Own Personal Backstory
In our fast-paced world, information continually washes over us, yet few things stick. The messages we do remember are generally connected to stories. And the key to any good story is its relatability.
What is your story?
Make your marketing landscape unique by weaving your personal backstory into every press release, pitch, and presentation. No one has the same backstory you do.
Learn to leverage your uniqueness. Think about how your story connects with current events, causes, or breaking news. Think about how you want your readers to change after hearing your backstory. Your book is merely your calling card to gain entry to bigger things such as media coverage, speaking events, book festivals, and presentations. The more that you bake your own story into marketing your book, the more people will connect with you, buy your books, tell others, and become your greatest source of free advertising. A great backstory builds pulling power over time which translates to more readers for you.
2. Focus on Smaller Markets Made of People Who Will Relate to Your Personal Story
Great marketing makes the new feel familiar and the familiar feel new. That goes for your personal brand as well. In order for your personal marketing story to be familiar to others, they must connect with your story. This requires efficiency on your part. The bad news is that technology has fragmented the market. People can find exactly what they want and ignore the rest. The good news is that you don’t have to reach millions to be successful.
Forsake the millions. Think as narrowly as you can. Find a core group of readers who are passionate about the same things you are. Your story will resonate more intimately with them, and your circle of influence will expand. Choose and focus. Small is agile!
3. Use Your Personal Story to Connect With Readers in Real Life
It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you want more people to buy your books, stop selling! Instead, start creating relationships.
In this digital age, people are actually becoming more isolated. “Social” media is a misnomer.
The most singularly significant approach is to real face time with others. People are starved for relationships. Attending conferences, speaking to groups, and meeting your fans will create positive energy for you and your readers.
Once they know your backstory (the “why” of you), they will feel valued and engaged. Their perception of you will be positive because of the authentic connection. And remember, there is only perception!
Ask yourself, “How can I connect with my readers in an authentic way?” What is more interesting: buying lemonade from a vending machine or from a lemonade stand? It’s the same product, but the story surrounding the lemonade stand is what engages people.
Stories matter in marketing. Not just because they educate or entertain us, but because the message you create lasts a long time. Cave paintings (stories) have outlasted their creators by centuries. How long will your story speak to readers and keep on marketing your book to them?