jedi“You can’t become a Jedi at whatever it is you’re doing unless you know it.” Jeni Britton Bauer.

Take book marketing. A lot of students in the writing classes that I teach are really intimidated at the thought of marketing and promoting their book. But it’s not rocket science.

To get started, you can go to writers’ networking meetings, see what other authors are doing—maybe launch a blog or update your existing one, or join Goodreads and run a contest. You can attend events like the Chanticleer conference, and learn more about social media or refresh your marketing skill set—perhaps get up to speed with book clubs or the latest in online retailers’ promotions, or meet experts in book marketing you may want to collaborate with.

Once you’ve assessed your options, you can focus on the strategies that especially resonate with you. If you’re the adventuresome type, you can also try the proverbial “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” approach. Whatever you choose, you can make the most of your marketing funds if those tools not only fit your budget and available time, but are those you’re most likely to follow up on.

Whether you’ve published your book or you’re an aspiring author, keep your eyes open for inspiration in unexpected places. I recently came across a piece in More magazine about updating your elevator pitch. To take your pitch or tagline from generic to sparkling, don’t begin with your name. Instead, tell a personal mini-story, then use vivid language to briefly describe what sets you apart. (From Robin Hatcher of SpeakEtc., a company that focuses on communication and presentation skills.)


Ms. Bauer (see the Jedi quote, above) is an ice cream impresario, who not only makes ice cream but lives it. She isn’t talking about executing something perfectly, but mastering a skill until it comes organically to you. And having a great time doing it! Which brings us back to writing…

Many authors say the best marketing you can do is to write your next book. So…above all, reserve the mental bandwidth you need for storytelling, keep refining your editing talents, nurture your creativity and have fun! Hopefully, you’ll find a balance between writing, promotion, and cultivating an interesting and creative life.

May the Force be with you!

A note from Kiffer Brown:

SusanBrownephotoJune 2013I would like to thank Susan Colleen Browne for her guest blog-post. Susan will present several sessions at the Chanticleer Authors Conference that will be held on April 29, 30, & May 1, 2016 in Bellingham, Wash. She writes Irish stories about love, friendship, and family. You can find her books available for purchase at the Books By the Bay Fair that will be held in conjunction with the conference. 

We invite you to visit Susan’s delightful website for more information and for links on how to order her books.