Can an introvert be a successful writer? And no, I’m not implying I’m an introvert, but this week I’ve been busy doing marketing, so the question came to mind.
I used to believe a good book would succeed no matter what, but I’ve discovered that isn’t always true. Over the last couple of years I’ve read some great books that have only enjoyed moderate success and a couple books that have been big money makers that I wish I hadn’t wasted my time or money on.
I know word of mouth is important, but with so many books being published nowadays (over 292,000 new titles and editions published in 2011) how does a writer get a book noticed? How do you start that word-of-mouth?
And that, of course, is where marketing comes in. Blogs and blog hops. Book signings. Talks to book clubs, libraries, groups. Panels at conferences. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any and all social media sites. Book marks. Contests. The list goes on and on.
I’m fairly gregarious. I’ve been a teacher, so standing in front of a group and giving a talk doesn’t bother me, but I know it petrifies some people. So how do they get the word out?
A few years ago I purchased a book called Guerrilla Marketing for Writers by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman & Michael Larsen. It’s mostly an idea book, and it breaks down PR possibilities that are either free, low cost, or expensive. I remember looking through the book when I first bought it, then putting it on the shelf and forgetting it. Most of the ideas it includes are ones all writers discuss or try at some time or another. It does, in a way, answer my question regarding introverts. A large number of the suggested ways to get the word out about a book do not involve standing in front of a crowd or mingling with a lot of people.
The Internet certainly helps the introvert. While sitting at his or her computer the writer can join discussion groups, write blogs or be a part of a blog hop, create a fantastic web site, run contests, send out newsletters, send the book to review sites, pay for on-line ads, allow free snippets from the book, and give-away prizes or free books.
Of course, even the non-introvert can do all of the above as well as attend conferences, retreats, book signings, and give interviews. I’m getting excited because Writers Police Academy starts in 2 weeks. Today I received notice of when I’ll be participating in the Meggitt (shooting workshop). Yesterday I worked on a handout (tray card) to bring to WPA to advertise my next book. This is what I came up with.
I like this size because I can get more information on it in a readable size. Will these create word of mouth? Increase sales? I have no idea, but since I’m not an introvert, I’ll also be talking about my book while at WPA. (More in 3 weeks about what I learn while there.)