Now that you’ve self-published your book, it’s time for the one thing most writers dread more than an editor’s red pen: marketing and promotion. Many writers are a bit shy about speaking in public, and the thought of having to actively promote and pitch their books gets them tongue-tied. The marketing experts at Self-Publishing Relief have some advice about how to sell more books—just ACT like a successful author! These tips used by actors will help you feel more confident and sell more of your self-published books.
5 Tips From Actors That Help Writers Sell More Books
Use your chest voice. Actors project their voices in order to reach the audience sitting way back in the cheap seats without sounding forced. While you obviously shouldn’t shout at the people you come in contact with while selling your book (and startle passersby), you don’t want potential buyers to have to strain to hear your whispers, either. Don’t be embarrassed—speak up! The audience is there because they WANT to hear what you have to say about your book. Remember the old adage: Fake it ’til you make it! If you pretend to be confident, pretty soon you will be.
Cast a wide net. Actors don’t put all their eggs in one basket—they often go to hundreds of auditions before landing one role. Promoting a book is the same way. Focusing on only one way to peddle your literary brainchild isn’t going to sell a lot of copies. You need to do everything you can to get your book in the right hands: Attend writers’ conferences, organize local reading events, maintain active social media accounts, and have an author website with links to where your book can be purchased.
Understand that criticism is a double-edged sword. Both actors and writers are subject to the positive—and negative—effect of reviews. People usually don’t stand around the office coffeemaker discussing new developments in mathematics, but they do have a seemingly limitless number of opinions on the movie they just watched or a book they just read. It’s important to know when to listen and when to ignore the negativity trolls. Learning how to weed out the good criticisms from the bad is essential to maintaining a healthy creative life moving forward.
Lean on the experience of others. Many successful actors got where they are today with help from someone else. The movie industry, TV industry, and theater industry are all built on the idea of passing it forward—extending a hand to help other actors still trying to make their way. If you have literary friends or acquaintances who have larger fan bases than you do, don’t be afraid to ask for some assistance in the form of a quick shout-out. And if you don’t know anyone who you can cross-promote with, never fear—conferences are a great way to mix and mingle with other writers.
Don’t give up hope. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’ve hit a brick wall and that you aren’t making any headway. Don’t give up! Stay focused and remind yourself that you can constantly keep improving. Actors often have dozens of ways to pick themselves up when having a day full of downs: hobbies or interests outside of their art that enable them to detox and refocus. When you’re having one of those days, try the same! Do some yoga, paint a picture, maybe go out antiquing, or walk your dog. And if you still aren’t feeling motivated, check out our article Motivation, Encouragement, and Inspiration for Writers.
Question: Which tip do you think is most helpful? Can you add to this list of advice?