Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Pamela Cable King

Why PUBLIC SPEAKING is a Writer’s Best Friend

You’ve written the book. Now what? After the good reviews, nice blurbs, pretty book cover, guest blogs, interviews, and diving into social media, what else can authors do to promote their book?

Selling thousands of copies of my first book was no small feat. To say any writer can hand sell their book out of the trunk of their car would be a false statement. Selling your book is hard work, to say the least. But writers, fearless writers, can be fearless marketers.

Writers know about platform and branding. Very simply, a platform is your customer base, your brand is your promise. A platform is the people who could, now and in the future, buy your books. Your brand will keep them reading your work. Hopefully.

Writing conferences, securing online presence, and joining networking groups will help a writer build that solid platform. There are a zillion web sites available for writers to promote their books. But, it’s been my experience the best possible marketing tool for the writer is (drum roll, please) public speaking. Meeting your readers, up close and personal.

I know, it’s not what writers want to hear. We’re solitary folk, writing in the privacy of our homes, offices, attics, and basements. So why would we want to speak publicly?

Whether you’re published by a big house, small house, or self-published, YOU ARE YOUR BEST PUBLICIST. Speaking about your book is your best tool—especially if it’s self-published. When Southern Fried Women was published, Michael and I decided to take a little money and put it toward travel. And travel, we did.

I’ve spoken at over 150 venues to date, from New York City to Orlando, Florida. We wore out two cars and burned up lots of tax-deductible gas these past few years. Forget hoping the bookstores won’t return your unsold books after three months. You are in control. Never, ever stop marketing your book. After six years, I’m still selling Southern Fried Women everywhere I go, and about to do the same with my debut novel, Televenge. How?

After I speak, I sell and sign books at the back of the room.

Want the real secret? It’s simple. Get the audience to fall in love with you and they’ll flock to your book table afterward to take a piece of you home. Be humble, be kind, be gracious, but most of all … be genuine.

Smiling as I watch folks line up, I have signed as many as 150 books at one event. I can attest it’s the best confidence-builder in the world. PUBLIC SPEAKING sells books that would otherwise sit in boxes inside your garage, basement, or your publisher’s storage room.

REMEMBER THIS: IF THEY LOVE YOU, THEY’LL BUY YOUR BOOK. And how do you get them to love you? GIVE A GREAT SPEECH.

Your best opportunity for speaking opportunities is NETWORKING. Join your local chamber. Go to a meeting of your Red Hat Society Ladies, Garden Club, Book Clubs, Schools, anyone you know who belongs to a group that utilizes speakers. How about your church? There are hosts of networking groups you can join. The Internet is great place to gather contact information for civic groups. But don’t push. If they say no, then move on.

Writers must be overcomers. It’s an old church term I’ve heard for years. We have to overcome fear: the fear of public speaking, the fear of promoting ourselves, and the fear of failure. It’s important to me that the hours and hours I spent on my passion are not wasted. Not only do I want my work published, I want it read. Every day presents new challenges in my writing career, but public speaking is no longer one of them.

If it worked for me, it can work for anybody.

To get more tips on public speaking, go to my blog at www.southernfriedwoman.blogspot.com and click on the September 11, 2012 post, Why PUBLIC SPEAKING is a Writer’s Best Friend.

Find Pamela online:

Pamela King Cable

 

 

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