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Writing Excuses 11.50: Hand-Selling Your Book to Potential Readers, with Michael R. Underwood

Writing Excuses 11.50: Hand-Selling Your Book to Potential Readers, with Michael R. Underwood


Key Points: Hard selling can poison the well. Don't do it. Start with a conversation. Questions are good. Get them to talk about their favorite books, then pitch something similar. Find out what problem they have, what they are interested in. Set up your table in clusters. A big backlist or working with other authors can help you meet their interest with something that matches. But find out what their problem is, and then suit your pitch to that. "What do you like to read?" and "What kind of fun are you looking to have with a book?" Be enthusiastic! If you have a big backlist/series, prime yourself to talk about a good entry point to get past paralysis of choice. Try out different pitches, and then think about what worked and didn't work. Get the book in their hands. Your pitch is a story you are telling to an audience of one, make it a good one! Don't forget the economic pitch -- sales bundles, special deals, etc. Build relationships, don't force today's sale and lose a long-term reader.

A special deal, just for you...Collapse )

[Brandon] All right. I'm going to call it right here. But Michael, you said you have a writing prompt for us.
[Michael] I really love looking at the sociology of science fiction. I think this is may be related to a prompt that Mary has given, so I'll apologize if it's a little bit of a retread. When you have an idea about like oh, say, here's a cool technology. So, come up with a cool technology. Then, to figure out who your protagonist is, look at who has the most to gain and the most to lose, and how it will change any given industry. Then you can find a protagonist there. From that, you've created a couple of points, and go forward. Write an outline or write a story.
[Brandon] Excellent. Well, Michael, thank you so much for being on the podcast.
[Michael] Thanks so much for having me. That'll be $20.
[Brandon] And the audience from our Writing Excuses cruise. Thank you guys.
[Whoo! Applause]
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
Tags: conventions, pitch, questions, relationship, sales, self-publishing

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