Archive for May 22nd, 2012

The book marketer’s “bucket list”

“Write down 10 things you would do in
your life
if you had absolutely no fear.
Then pick one of them and do it.”
— Steve Chandler

OK – challenge time. We’ve been at this blog a year now. Whether you’ve been reading for 11 months or 11 days, it’s time to get out from behind your computer and put some of these ideas we’ve been discussing into action.

I hereby alter Steve Chandler’s quote thusly:

Write down 10 things you would do
to market your book if you had absolutely
no fear. Then pick one of them and do it!

Let’s get a list going, right here and right now:

  • Make a book trailer even though I don’t know much about video editing.
  • Start speaking to civic and community groups that include members of my audience, even if I’m terrified of public speaking.
  • Do a radio or TV interview, even if I’ve never done one before.
  • Create a mischief marketing campaign like blanketing the parking lots at an MLB game with postcards to promote my new baseball book, even if I’m worried I’ll get “in trouble.”
  • Interview someone famous in my market or industry, even if I’m worried they won’t want to talk with me.
  • Wear a costume related to one of the characters in my novel to a crowded shopping center and hand out bookmarks, even if I’ll feel silly.
  • Ask someone I admire to write a guest post for my blog, even if I’m incredibly shy.
  • Fork over the $200 to host a book signing at my local indie bookstore, even if that’s a lot of money and I don’t have a guarantee it will go well.
  • Ask someone famous for a blurb for my book, even if I don’t yet know how to contact them.
  • Spray paint my book marketing message where it counts, even if it’s…

I’ll admit some of these ideas are scarier or bigger envelope-pushers than others; it really all depends on your comfort level. I personally have no problems speaking in public, but it’s said that for some people, the fear of public speaker is greater than their fear of dying!

The point is to choose one idea from YOUR list of fears and overcome it by TAKING ACTION!

I recently signed up to be an organizer for a political campaign. That means asking a whole lot of people who don’t necessarily want to talk with me if they’re registered voters. Tap the vocal ones from the opposing party and … oops … I could set off a mini-incident without even trying. The other thing is that I get a lot more rejections than I do signer-uppers because that’s just the nature of the work. Let me tell you – this is pushing me outside my comfort zone in a BIG way.

One of my new voter-reg buddies is fearless – she tells anyone who’s not registered and doesn’t want to register that they’re giving away their power if they don’t vote. I agree – and used that line a couple times myself this weekend … to no avail. I will persist, though, because this is a skill I really want to improve. How can I be a successful team leader if I can’t walk my talk?

Another thing I want to do to push past my current comfort level is take an improv class and/or a class in comedy. I can stand up and give you a compelling, from-the-heart speech – but I’m no Kristin Wiig and get pretty tense at the idea of being silly onstage. SNL just lost one of its greatest performers ever as Kristin left the show to pursue other opportunities. She’s my hero, though – as she exemplifies fearlessness to me.

Who’s your role model? What did they do to overcome their fear and do it anyway? Ready, fire, aim – as my friend and mentor David Hepburn used to say. Otherwise, there’s an awfully strong chance you’ll stand around all day aiming and never quite get around to the firing part.

Happy fear-conquering!



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