Monday, October 29, 2018

10 Tips to Transform the Shy Writer to Savvy Salesperson PLUS Giveaway ends November 5th

Please welcome Denise Weimer back to my blog. Denise is giving away a copy of Redeeming Grace. Be sure to read on down to see how to enter.

I’m convinced that writing and promoting books require opposite parts of the brain.
Who’s with me?

When I was a teenager holed up in my room with a notepad, I never thought about the fact that in order to sell the books I wrote, I’d have to become a public speaker and a sales lady … two things that would have made me run screaming into the sunset at that point of life. 

Even as an adult, there are days I don’t feel I can do it. I love people. I keep an active social calendar. But that’s not the same as speaking in front of strangers or asking festival passers-by if they enjoy historical fiction. Putting yourself out there can feel like stretching your introverted innards past the breaking point, especially when you inherit a tough audience or you’re suffering from a bit of burnout.
Some authors may struggle with this less than others. Well, maybe non-fiction writers whose platform proceeded their publication. J

These 10 tips can help any shy writer transform to savvy salesperson.
1.       Remember it’s not about you; it’s about your story. If you believe in your story, your enthusiasm will prove contagious.
2.       Remember it’s not about you; it’s about your audience. If you’re speaking to a group, go prepared with the demographics and zero in on what might interest them. For some groups, I stress the challenges of the publishing process. For others, I talk almost exclusively about Georgia history.
3.       When scanning shoppers for potential readers, your audience might have a certain “look.” By that I mean style of dress, median age, or gender. These indicators can be helpful, but don’t be fooled. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” applies to people most of all!
4.       Ask folks questions about themselves and their interests, and chances are good you’ll hit on a topic that will link to what you are selling. If not, they probably know a friend or family member who would love to receive your book as a gift.
5.       When giving a presentation on your writing or platform, even before a small or unintimidating group, a Powerpoint can keep things moving. We’re a visual culture accustomed to sensory input. Pictures and items you pass around also create responsiveness.
6.       When selling from a book table, an attractive display that incorporates multi-sensory elements will bring customers to you. If you have someone with you, take turns roaming the store or festival handing out literature and manning the table. When at the table, stand as much as possible, often at the end to appear accessible. As tempting as your phone or printed material might be, don’t. And of course, smile. At everyone whose eye you can catch.
7.       If you can find a way to package a snippet of your manuscript with a nice “wow” factor, your blurb-attuned audience will notice. What about a video book trailer playing on your laptop? A card with a photo and a bit of dialogue, along with your book specs?
8.       My husband, a financial salesperson, is always thinking of ways to price package my books. Signs with “two for” deals or discounts to target audiences catch attention. Likewise, run sales for holidays or simply remind people Mother’s Day is coming.
9.       Be prepared to share a little bit about yourself. While you don’t want to squander professionalism and most readers aren’t there to hear your life story, people want to get a sense of who you are. That positive memory will stay with them as they read your book and may even prompt them to send you an encouraging e-mail, recommend you to a friend, or post a positive review. Some of the best exchanges occur during book club visits. I leave with a treasure trove of new facts, knowledge of what people found uplifting in my series, and a deeper sense of what amazing people my readers are!
10.   You will of course occasionally have the very rude customer. As much as you may try to prepare yourself for this, he or she always seems to take you by surprise. Best to assume the problem is something in the other person’s private life and has nothing to do with you or what you have written. As much as possible, offer a word of encouragement. The conversation may turn around instantly, but if it doesn’t, release that transaction as soon as the patron leaves. The next person who walks up could be your biggest fan!

QUESTIONS: Writers, what strategies help you overcome marketing anxiety? And readers, what do you seek from an author at his or her event?
Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s an editor for the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here:
GIVEAWAY: Denise is giving away a Kindle copy of her first novella, Redeeming Grace. To enter answer one of the questions above under 'Questions'. Don't forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win!
Searching for something she cannot define and breaking under the stress as a rising star at The Metropolitan Opera, Grace Galveston travels to Tallulah Falls, Georgia, for a reprieve. In the summer of 1886, Tallulah Gorge, with its multiple waterfalls, spectacular mountain scenery, and lavish resort hotels, was already known as “The Niagara of the South.” Even amid the crowds and excitement surrounding the attempt of an aerialist to cross the chasm on a high wire, Grace hopes to find peace. Unexpectedly, though, the trip sheds light on the secret pain in her heart. Can the blessing of friendship and the possibility of love with a local minister guide her toward healing? Or will their differences and the call of her life back in New York mean even greater heartbreak?


  1. Hi Denise & Debbie Lynne, I enjoyed seeing these tips on promoting your books. I always appreciate an author who seems glad to see me and shows appreciation that I stopped. Authors are my rock stars!

  2. Encouraging words, Connie! Believe me, a smiling, familiar face at a book event is worth more than a thousand words to us!

  3. Hi Denise! I thought your 10 Tips were great! I have a daughter who loves to write stories and would like to be an author some day. I am saving your tips to share with her. :) I appreciate an author who is friendly and engaging. I also thought that your husband's idea of 'Price Packaging' is an awesome idea! Everyone loves a deal! It is very alluring as well as an eye-catching display. I think that the statement...'Presentation is 99% of the sale' so true! Thanks for sharing your wonderful insights, and for the chance to win your novella, Redeeming Grace! I love reading historical fiction, and this story sounds delightful! ~ Alison Boss


    Debbie - I am also a Feedburner follower.

  4. Thanks so much, Alison. Yes, my husband is the "math brain" of the family. :) I hope your daughter keeps writing. Good luck in the e-book drawing. Here's the link to the state park where the story is set: It's beautiful!

  5. Friendliness! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. I've met several authors at their events and appreciate their openness about their writing and making you as a reader feel like you matter. Some of these tips are even great for a shy person to bloom. Blessings.

  7. I agree, Marilyn - remembering to focus on others instead of our own introverted discomfort helps a lot, author or not. :) Thank you for stopping by!

  8. And the winner is Marilyn! Congratulations!