Are You Sharing Your Story?

We like to think that we are logical creatures. The truth is, humans are highly emotional.

In fact, science shows that we are driven more by our emotions than our logic. Research shows that feelings are more important than we think.

Emotion is a required ingredient in decision making.

In studying people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated, neuroscientist Antonio Damsio made an important discovery. These people seemed normal, but they were not able to feel emotions. They all had one thing in common—they could not make decisions. Simple decisions, such as what to eat, were difficult for these people.

Damsio believes that emotions are not barriers to decisions, rather, they are a crucial component of decision-making. In other words, emotion is required for our brain to make a decision. I think he is right.

Someone I follow on Facebook recently made this post:

Did you notice his first few words? He said, “I felt for this mom.” In other words, this man had an emotional reaction to this mom’s story. That reaction led him to buy her book.

This author was highlighted on WCNC, a local news channel in Charlotte. She wrote a children’s book on bullying, and the station was highlighting her story and how the book came about. You can read it here.

Authors, you can learn two lessons from this mom author.

1. This author secured local media coverage.

Are you pursuing local media coverage? It is much easier to be featured as a local author in the news than to gain national media coverage as an author. Start local and grow from there.

2. This author shared a compelling story.

Experts report that between 2,000 and 4,000 books are published every day. With that many books published; a new book is not “news”. What makes a book newsworthy is a story. To grab journalists’ attention, share a compelling story that either led you to write your book or ties into the theme of your book.

It took courage for this mom to share her embarrassing story. Yet, it allowed her to gain media coverage and created the emotional reaction that led my Facebook friend to buy her book.

If you want to sell more books, you have to create an emotional connection with people. Studies show that 90% of Millennials say that authenticity is important in their purchasing decisions. Create an emotional connection by being transparent and real.

Related Posts:
Start with Why, Not What
It’s the Story
Your Next Big Break

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Your Next Big Break

Your big break—that media interview, that stellar endorsement, an influencer willing to work with you, a large book order, that awesome speaking engagement—might be right around the corner. You never know when it will happen… but I can guarantee it won’t happen if you don’t plant seeds.

To harvest fruit, you must first plant seeds. All your marketing efforts—both small and large—are seeds you are planting.

Marketing is planting seeds

I have sent out scores of press releases. Many never get a response. Not too long ago, I sent out another press release to the media. I really wasn’t anticipating much from it. After all, I know that press releases are about planting seeds and watering those seeds.

A few weeks later, I received an email. It said:

I am doing a story on indie publishing in the Christian market. I’ll talk to a number of sources for the story, and would love to include you and the newly named CIPA.

An interview was scheduled. A conversation took place. Then, an article was published. I was quoted in the article.

Not a big break, but a nice one that brought more exposure. You can read the article here.

Too many authors are “one and done”. They try something once. When they don’t get the result they expected, they decide that the marketing technique did not work and don’t try it again.

In marketing, “one and done” will kill your efforts. No farmer plants one seed and expects a good crop. Farmers do not know which seeds will germinate or which seeds will lie fallow or end up getting eaten. So, they plant many, many seeds, sometimes overseeding so they can ensure a crop.

Wise King Solomon knew this principle. He said:

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good.

writing at night

In book marketing language, this statement reads:

In the morning conduct your marketing activities, and at evening don’t think you are done, because you do not know which activity will succeed, whether one or the other, or if all of them will be equally good.

You can’t have a big break unless you are constantly pursuing opportunities. So, keep doing marketing activities like:

  • Sending out those press releases.
  • Pitching for interviews.
  • Asking for those endorsements.
  • Pursuing those speaking engagements.
  • Seeking collaboration with other authors.
  • Showing up day in, day out on social media adding value to other’s lives.

And remember that God is the Lord of the Harvest. Your success rests in his hands. Trust him.

Related Posts:
10 Daily Book Marketing Activities
Effective Marketing to a Declining Reading Populace
Overcoming Roadblocks to Marketing

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Photo courtesy of Dương Trí and Bruce Mars.

Don’t Make These Rookie Mistakes

The other day, I listened to a podcast interview of a new author. I found myself cringing as I listened to this new author make a number of rookie mistakes. Just as a book that is poorly written turns readers off, so does an interview that is poorly executed.

Media coverage—whether this is in print, radio, television, or podcast format—is a great way to gain exposure for your message and your book. Securing media coverage can help grow an audience for your book.

Rookie Mistakes by New Authors

If you are taking the time and effort to pursue media interviews as part of your marketing strategy, don’t waste your efforts by making the following rookie mistakes that will cause the audience to lose interest.

 1. Saying “Buy My Book” in the Interview.

Do not ever say “buy my book” during a media interview. Your job is to give people interesting information that entices them to want more. It’s okay to talk about your book, but don’t tell or ask the audience to buy your book. Most show hosts will ask you to tell the audience how they can buy your book. If the host does not, then you can work your website into the interview. For example, you might say something like: “On my website at, I offer more free tips on how to improve your prayer life.”

2. Alluding to Your Book in Every Answer You Give.

Don’t talk about your book the whole interview. You need to entertain and educate the audience. Authors who mention their book in every answer on a show sound like they are conducting a sales pitch. A media interview is about giving the show’s audience useful information or entertainment that enriches their lives.

3. Not Sharing Statistics or an Anecdote or Story.

Information is great, but story makes the information stick. Think about a recent sermon you heard. Which do you remember more easily: the points the pastor made or the stories he told? Be human and interesting in your interview. Share stories or interesting statistics to drive your message home.

4. Inserting Extra Speech Sounds.

In the interview I listened to, the author sounded like she was sighing after every question the host asked and before she gave her answer. I am sure that she was using the sound to help her gather her thoughts, but it sounded like every answer she gave took effort. Avoid using extra sounds, especially “um”. Extra speech sounds are distracting and make you sound less professional.

5. Using Words or Phrases the Audience Might Not Understand.

Each area or region in the world has saying that are indigenous to the area. People who live in these areas know what these sayings mean, but those outside often don’t. For example, in the South, you might hear the phrase “I’m as fat as a tick.” This doesn’t mean the person thinks he or she is fat, rather it means he or she is full after a good meal. Be cognizant of the fact that your audience might not be familiar with words or phrases you use. If you choose to use them, simply take the time to explain what they mean to your audience.

6. Forgetting to Say Thank You.

Be sure to thank the host for having you on the show and the audience for their time. In the interview I recently listened to with the new author, the show host kept thanking the author for being on the show. It took three tries before the author finally said a simple “thank you” back. Be a gracious media guest and say thank you.

Your ultimate goal in a media interview is to make your audience feel a connection with you. If they feel a connection, they are more likely to check out your book and buy it.

If you are a new author seeking media interviews, one of the best things you can do to learn how to be a good media guest is to watch or listen to interviews of experienced authors. One podcast that interviews a number of seasoned Christian authors is The Experience Jesus Calling Podcast.

Related Posts:
Are You Relentlessly Pursuing Opportunities
Expecting Fast Results: What a Mistake!
5 Common Indie Publishing Errors

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Photo courtesy of William Stitt.