“After you’ve written your book, found an agent, gotten a publisher, and your book is finally in the bookstores, five percent of your work has been done.”—Jack Canfield
You learn that, in the book world, PR is everything. When you walk into a bookstore, you are walking into a treasure house of 140,000 books. Online at amazon.com, there are some 3 million books. Somewhere in your mind, dimly, you knew that, but nothing drives it home so much as walking into a bookstore and seeing rack upon rack of beautiful books and then you go find your section and see all the racks of beautiful self-help books and then, tucked into a small shelf on the bottom left, there is your one-and-only, your own beautiful book. Ahhh, you sigh, your book, your dream, has magically materialized and actually exists in a real bookstore in real space in real time. Then your eyes widen, you look around, and you think, “Gadzooks! (or some such expletive) How am I going to get my book noticed?”
The answer is PR, PR, pr, PR, PR, PR, pr, PR, and more PR. As in public relations, press, advertising, newsletters, ezines, magazine articles, newspaper articles, radio if you’re lucky, television if you’re really lucky, etc., etc., etc. Then you put on your gold tennis shoes and do a book signing, speak at the Lions Club, the Direct Marketing Association, the Church of Religious Science, the Women’s City Club, the Society for Technical Communication, and anyone else who will book you. You go to other people’s book signings and schmooze, give copies of your book to celebrities (Marianne Williamson, Mark Victor Hansen, Martha Beck, and Suze Orman all own of personally autographed copies of “The Wealthy Spirit”). You go to your six or seven regular networking meetings, National Association of Women Business Owners, Women’s Referral Service, Chambers of Commerce, NEW Women Entrepreneurs (it really helps if you like chicken).
You do all this because, when you have lunch with Michelle Anton, the producer of the Dr. Laura radio show, she tells you how she found out about your book; that she didn’t know that you were on the “Dr. Laura” television show three years ago, that she didn’t get the press release your publisher sent with your book, and she didn’t get your letter that you sent with your book. None of that mattered. What mattered was that a friend of hers told her about the book. And that’s why, when someone asks what marketing strategy has worked the best to promote your book, you say, “The twenty years I’ve been out there networking.”
Then, because book money comes three months after the end of the six-month royalty period, you make hundreds of gold calls on the gold phone because the NOW money of workshops is in the phone, where the LATER money of books is in the mail. You teach class two nights a week and enroll class every other waking moment. In your spare time, you write an article for Dr. Laura’s web site, you write your next newsletter, and you smile sweetly when people start asking you about your next book…
And you thank God every day for giving you this rich, full, high-class-quality-problem-too-busy life where you can decide what dream you want, bring a book into being, and e-zoom your thoughts and feelings into the minds and hearts of a circle of friends.