The selfless work of book promotion
Promoting your nonfiction book seems like ego-stoking work of the most extreme sort. Me, me, me! Pay attention to me! My book is great!
In truth, though, successful book promotion is a work of service and selflessness.
Why selfless beats selfish in book promotion
Start with the book itself. Your book will succeed to the extent that it is helpful to someone. That means you must start, not with yourself, but with your audience. What do they need? How can you best make that help available to them?
The work of promotion extends that service.
First, you must refocus on who you are helping and what help you provide to them.
Then you must distill that help into a set of simple messages.
You must turn those messages into videos, podcasts, blog posts, infographics, or other assets, and give them away. The assets will promote the book — but only if they are both useful and easy to access.
You must identify other influencers serving the same audience — media outlets, bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers.
And you must reach out to them in ways that serve both those influencers and their audience. That demands an intense focus on how others communicate and careful identification of how those others serve your audience.
Finally, you must dedicate your time and energy to appearing in places that serve your audience. While PR folks can help you find people with influence and connect you with them, only you can make appearances that will benefit your book.
And when you make those appearances, your success depends on your ability to help your audience, not your ability to talk about yourself. The more you focus on your audience’s needs, the more effective your promotion will be.
So book promotion is an exercise in service, dedication, and humility. To a naive writer, “promotion” sounds self-serving. But it only works if you approach it with an attitude of service.
Hit the nail on the head. Thanks Josh.