The Cardinal Sin of Marketing

I hate to admit it, but I did it. I committed the cardinal sin of marketing. Here I am, the author of a marketing book, a speaker on publishing and marketing, and I went and broke Rule Number One of marketing.

The number one rule of marketing is that authors (or any business person for that matter) should never ever be without their business card that promotes their book. But here I was, at an event with authors and I did not bring my business cards.

I really have no excuse, but let me tell you about it. This past weekend, I attended Christian Book Expo in Dallas, Texas. I placed my business cards in my briefcase and had them with me. One afternoon, I attended the Authors Picnic put on by AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). This was an indoor picnic with well-known authors. Since I was going to lunch to listen to these authors speak, I only took my purse, not my briefcase. I neglected to transfer some business cards into my purse prior to attending the picnic. When I arrived at the luncheon, I discovered that most of the attendees were authors and that part of the time was devoted to networking with each other. There I was, the author of a book on marketing Christian books, without my business cards. Talk about looking foolish. I jokingly told the ladies at my table to do as I say, not as I do since I had just broken the cardinal rule of marketing.

At the luncheon I met many wonderful women authors. A number of these authors shared with me disappointments they had with the publishers of their books. These disappointments ranged from feeling like their publishers did not listen to their input on cover designs to feeling like the publisher did not provide them support for marketing their book. One author told me that initially she was excited when she found a publisher for her book, but that her excitement quickly turned to disappointment when the publisher did almost nothing to market her book. This saga is not new. I often hear similar ones from new authors.

When you write a book, that book is your baby. No one will love that book or be as invested in that book as you. As parents, after we give birth we don’t hand our children over to someone else to raise. The same should be true for authors. After your book is published, don’t hand over the responsibility of marketing your book to the publisher. You, the author, should throw yourself into marketing your book. You are the one with the passion and the drive to sell your book. No one else will be able to market or sell your book as well as you can. If you have a publisher that is spending money and effort  on marketing your book, then the combined effort between you and your publisher will only make your book that much more successful.

I encourage you to do all you can to market your book. Start with carrying your business card with you wherever you go and always have a few copies of your book in your car so that you can make an instant sale when you meet an interested consumer.

Have you ever missed an opportunity to sell your book because you weren’t prepared?