Recently, I attended the Book Expo America convention (BEA) in New York City to launch my new book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. Unfortunately, when I got to the show, raring to promote my new title, the books had not yet arrived.
As you can imagine, I was disappointed. But in that moment, I had a decision to make. I could let the problem get me down and assume the show was a disaster. Or, I could take matters into my own hands and proactively look for other marketing opportunities. I chose the latter. Even though I didn't have books to show anyone, I used my time to walk the convention floor and meet new people, reconnect with leaders I already knew, and tell them about my new book's value. Long story short, those conversations wound up helping me get booked to present at three major speaking engagements:
Digital Book World's Marketing and Discoverability Conference – Sept., 2012
ECPA's Publishing University (PubU) – Oct., 2012
O' Reilly's Tools of Change event for authors – Mar., 2013
Besides these great speaking and promotional opportunities, my publisher helped me make new connections with the directors of several large writer's organizations. All things considered, Book Expo wound up being a marketing success in my mind, rather than a failure or waste of time. That's because I didn't view the initial problem as a wall blocking my promotional path. Instead, I just had to find creative ways to go around the wall.
Life will always throw you some occasional lemons. Let's face it, publishers will make mistakes. Literary agents will forget to call you back. Leaders who promise to help promote your book will get amnesia. Get used to it. Don't let your marketing become dependent on the actions of others. Take responsibility to promote your book yourself.
Lemonade wouldn't taste good without lemons. Likewise, success tastes better when it's fresh-squeezed by your own hands.
About the author:
Rob Eagar is the founder of WildFire Marketing, a consulting practice that helps authors and publishers sell more books and spread their message like wildfire. He has assisted numerous New York Times bestselling authors and is author of the new book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. Find out more about Rob’s advice, products, and coaching services for authors at: www.startawildfire.com