3 Crazy Important Reasons You Are the Most Selling Point for Marketing Your Book

3 Reasons YOU Are the Most Important Selling Point for Marketing Your Book

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?

Tell me your opinion: What is there about your personal story that will help you in marketing your book?

3 Crazy Important Reasons You Are the Most Selling Point   for Marketing Your Book

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About Lynda Bouchard

Lynda Bouchard is founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Booking Authors Ink, a boutique public relations firm dedicated to authors.


  1. My story is about a group of Russian-Americans and the racism they experience in a predominantly white prep school near Cleveland, Ohio. Whenever I talk to agents, fellow authors, and friends, the pressing question they ask is, “Why Russians?”

    I visited Russia when I was fourteen, staying in a Siberian school for one month with a group of 60 other Americans. My husband is Eastern European. He learned to speak Russian in school and his culture shares a similar heritage. We live two hours away from Cleveland, which has a large Russian community. And my husband worked with a group of Russians in Medina, Ohio, the city that houses my fictional town “Little Russia.”

    I guess I do have a good personal connection to share about my story! Thanks for helping point that out!

    • Thank you for sharing this, Janelle. Wow. You have a wonderfully deep well to draw from!
      Use it-and you will rise above the noise of a crowded book market. Keep writing…… Lynda

  2. K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

    Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Lynda!

  3. Nice angle, Lynda. I don’t feel like I have much of an interesting personal story–and perhaps that’s why I make up stories. I’m sure a lot of authors feel the same way. In a future guest post, you might look at ways you can find your unique story that you can use as a selling point.

  4. Alicia,

    EVERYONE (yes, even you!) has a unique ‘something’ that they can share when pitching their book to others. This is where it gets fun! Think as far back as it takes to find it. It may be something about your grandparents, parents, siblings, your neighbor, someone famous you ran into. It’sthere. Become an archeologist of your life.

  5. thomas h cullen says

    Do I play the standard game, in trying to campaign for The Representative, or do I just be a consistent extension of it instead, and give up the pretence?

    The Representative is The Representative. Its identity and political inconvenience, relative to the ‘real world’, won’t be any different ten months or even ten years from now.

    If I can just get enough first readers, and place trust in them to communicate it to others.

    (The point isn’t the entity, but rather the person behind the entity.)

  6. robert easterbrook says

    Oh this is so much hard work; not coming from a marketing background. I didn’t study marketing, and after 15 years of higher education I find sill have so much to learn. 🙂

    • Robert,
      Thank you for your honesty! There are 2 hats a writer wears: that of the artist and an even bigger hat – of a marketer. ( Think Cat in the Hat big!)

      Once your book is written, the easy part is over.

      You probably know more than you think you do, Robert. You already have the tools. Marketing at its core is all about telling the better story. ( **the lemonade analogy in my article;)

      Have fun with it, Robert! Start small in your own town ( gosh, you have a huge audience already from teaching !!! Tap into that.)

      Now YOU are the student! Cool……

  7. Who is really at ease with sharing his or her backstory?

    I chose a pen name for privacy. Being known under a pen name can at least allow me to protect my family (and me) from unwanted attention.

    I follow a few authors on FB and it amazes me to see that they let fans know about there whereabouts, family visits, their purchases, their surgery or health problems. Let’s face it, an author with hundreds and thousands of readers do not establish relationships with his or her readership; these authors just give out personal information.

    I understand it portrays authors as “real people”, I understand fans can be curious about an author’s private life, but is there not a point when it becomes “too much”? I don’t want to know if their dog needs surgery or if they are snowed in.

    Each and every one of us use our own life story as a source of inspiration. Is it necessary to share the drama (and be accused of ego-centrism) and to leave room for judgement (“well, you made you own bed girl, now sleep in it and don’t complain!”; “you are just looking for pity!”)?

    I write to let people know that life gets better; I write to give people hope. Where does my personal drama fit in? Is it not bad enough that it is all over my books already? If I can convincingly write stories where the protagonist goes from being tested by life to being in a positive place in his life, is it not telling enough of my own experience with hardship?

    I have more questions than answers, and I have a different viewpoint. It doesn’t mean I do not see your point, but I am wondering if my personal backstory is something I want to use to market my stories.

    I don’t know. If all is a matter of perception

    • thomas h cullen says

      Good points. A very sincere point of view.

      But of course, that’s all derivative of a false way of life, one of “identity” and “highly arranged patterns”.

      With The Representative, I provoke a whole new perception, one of radical maturity, and complete re-evaluation.

  8. I hope to be able to have something to market one of these days. I am still stuck trying to figure out which direction to go. I love to blog on different topics, but sometimes feel as if I need something to write something that will actually get me somewhere: magazine articles, a novel etc… So I feel as if my time is diluted and I spin in circles. Love reading these posts however, I am storing up tools for when I have a direction!

  9. My stories all feature a character with a serious illness– usually cancer. That character can be the protagonist, a family member, or a friend.
    This is my story. I’ve lost many family members to cancer throughout my life, and have battled it myself, asking with several other chronic illnesses.
    My support groups are built in audiences for my stories, but beyond that, most people have lost a loved one to these diseases. Once people hear that I’ve been through this sort of loss myself, they’re often eager to share their own story. I find that it’s a powerful point of connection.
    In addition to that, I find that when I write about illnesses that don’t get a lot of media coverage (colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome), others who also have these conditions get excited that I’m sharing “their story”. It feels more personal, and because I’ve experienced them myself, they trust that I’ll get it right.

  10. I loved this. That is one of the reasons I have created my site. A lot of people are trying to sell their book as a product, not a story. I think that is a problem. It’s not the same selling a story to someone as it is a product where they know WHY they’re buying the product. It’s much easier to sell products because they can just list the benefits. For example, buy a Kindle because you will save money on books, it’s convenient, and less hassle to carry around. So this is where the question lies: how do I sell my books?

    Just like you said, you have to sell yourself. Let them know the person who wrote the story. Let them know your personality and life but also show them some emotional benefit they will receive from buying your novel. People buy on emotion and connection. Connect to them on an emotional level and you’re in. Good post.

  11. thomas h cullen says

    Good rationale.

  12. Appreciate your perspective and optimism, NW.

    Reveal as much or little as you are comfortable with. You are spot on – it helps connect you on
    a personal level.

    Keep writing……

  13. I’m writing a novel about a year-long game played in Virtual Reality in the year 2020 … and I plan to make the game that feartures in the book, in real life, so that readers can actually play it, and get to be the protagonist.

    And that’s my story 🙂

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