The Campaign Trail

A potent strand of DNA separates the writer from the seller. If you enjoy the elegant, yet often lonely art of creating original stories and characters, odds are you won’t like the brash and pushy work necessary to pitch, promote and sell your novel.

If this rings true, sorry, it’s time to get over it. P.T. Barnum said it best: “Without promotion something terrible happens … Nothing.”

To publicize Bella, I’ve used powerful social media tools like Facebook and YouTube. But I’ve also hit the low-tech campaign trail, promoting Bella at events at neighborhood pools, coffee shops and book clubs. I smile, shake hands and answer questions like the candidates I used to cover as a reporter. We talk not about issues of the day, but of the challenges Danny and Bella face as they chase down the truth about Hank’s death.

Later this month, I will host a book launch cocktail party at the National Press Club. This will bring me full circle, as I worked out of the Press Building years ago as Washington correspondent for the Tampa Tribune. The building is a D.C. icon, always alive with journalists and newsmakers. The club bills itself as “the place where news happens.”

Of course generating some buzz is precisely what we’re after. You’re never sure where or when that’s going to happen. The only certainty for the self-published author is that it won’t happen unless you’re willing to move from creative writing to creative marketing.

1 Comment so far »

  1. Deborah/BookishDame said,

    Wrote on December 5, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

    Hi, Steve, I just got an email from you asking to be “friends,” but it as addressed to “Lauren.” It did talk about your having been associated with the Naples News…and I’m a resident of Naples, so I’m confused! On another topic, I do review books for authors and publishers, and I edit, as well. Your book sounds fabulous! I would love to read and review it, if you would be willing to send a copy to me. My email is the best place to reach me.
    And, I would also love to be friends, Steve! Best of luck to you and your mom,


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