Part 2: Being Persistent, Consistent and Glued
Persistence, according to my Mac’s dictionary, has this meaning: Firm or obstinate (as in stubbornly refusing to change) continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Many authors are not stubborn enough when it comes to getting the word out about their book. They want to be an overnight success and become discouraged when, after the first week or first month of promotion, nothing really happens. You forget that an overnight success comes after many months and years of hard work–obstinate persistence with phone calls, follow ups, ideas, inquiries, interaction on the web, creative partnerships and sales outlets. Then, trying more tactics, phone calls, inquiries, interactions; and then trying even more tactics, phone calls, inquiries, interactions…
In a way, book promotion is a game of chicken and you’re not the one who is supposed to quit!
Jane Friedman, professor of e-media and writing at the University of Cincinnati, often talks about promotional persistence for authors. (You can see a really good interview between her and Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers here.) She tells writers that it could take months to years of promotion activities (especially with social media) before the writer will see thousands of followers and hundreds of interactions.
So my question for you is this: How long have you been sharing about your book? It’s not long enough! Keep it up for months and months before you decide to quit.
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” ~Elbert Hubbard
Consistency is about working on building buzz for your book with a level of performance and activity that doesn’t stop in time spent or in quality ever. You need to be deliberate and active in getting the word out about your book and your writing.
You can’t send out five press releases and expect the media to knock down your door. You need to send out five press releases and follow up, then send out five more press releases with a different slant and follow up, rinse and repeat.
You can’t just post a question or thought on Facebook or Twitter once a week and expect people to flock to your page and press like. You need to post a question, thought, quote or picture consistently for weeks and months. You need to interact with your followers, join other groups and post comments. When you regularly show up on social media, people will start showing up as your followers.
You can’t just spend 10 minutes once a week throwing some promotional comment out into the world and expect your book to sell a million copies. You need to dedicate time every day (preferably) or every week to share about your world, your life and your book. Some experts say that you should plan to do one to three things every day that promote your book in some way.
However, if you create a plan (like we discussed in the last post) and work it every day (or at the very least a few times a week) you’ll succeed in getting the word out about your book.
You can’t get your feelings hurt and you can’t take any “no” personally. You just have to forge on.
This quote by Tom Krause (speaker and life coach) really helped me reframe my perspective on my efforts and ideas of success or failure. He says, “There are no failures–just experiences and your reactions to them.” So true! If you try something and it doesn’t work, you’ve learned what not to do. My dad used to always tell me, “Well, just chalk that up to experience.” I hated that advice when I was younger. But now I’ve come to see the wisdom in it.
If you are consistently posting on Facebook and doing all that you know to do to increase your fan base but it doesn’t increase, you have not failed. You are having a learning experience; it is an opportunity to review your content and determine if it was too promotional or not exciting enough to gain Facebook fans. If your review shows that you’ve done what you should, you have learned that maybe you haven’t given it enough time, or maybe you should give another promotional task priority.
The bottom line is, if you keep on keeping on, your readers will know you are reliable and they will come to you more often for your information.
Which brings me to my next point:
Have you ever KrazyGlued your fingers together? Your fingers were stuck together for a while, weren’t they? They weren’t budging.
Well I want you to apply virtual KrazyGlue to your promotional efforts. I want you to stick with it for longer than you think a sane person would. You need to be determined to meet your goals and you need to know that the only way to meet them is to not give up too soon!
So many authors after a few weeks with social media tell me they just aren’t getting it. I always tell my authors who are frustrated with internet promotion to give it time. Lots of time. You need to present a consistent message with a consistent schedule for many, many, many months. Then you will see the results of your efforts–but only if you put in the effort at the beginning.
I tell my authors, and I’ll tell you, if you haven’t tried connecting with people via social media as an author for more than a year, then you haven’t even begun!
KrazyGlue stickiness works with traditional or offline promotion as well. What if you have an event and 5 people show up? Do you quit? I hope not. I hope you will stick with it. I hope you will network with the people who came and make new friends. I hope you’ll invite the same ten people who came to your first event and ask them to bring friends. That would double your exposure! Maybe you can also figure out how to better promote the event and then try again.
What if a media representative tells you your book won’t be covered? Do you stop trying to connect with the media? I hope not. I hope you will stick with it, do better research and networking and find someone who is interested in your story.
That’s KrazyGlue. And it works!
Don’t give up on your book or yourself. You never know if tomorrow is the day you’ll become an overnight success!