Friday, June 01, 2012

Writing: Reach Out And Touch...

We've just had our primary election here in Texas, so perhaps the phone won't be ringing all day long with political messages. I think the one that set my teeth on edge was a child's voice, saying, "My daddy is So-And-So, and he's running for..." As though that was going to influence my vote.

I've been thinking, in the midst of all this, that perhaps political campaigning isn't terribly different in some aspects from what a writer has to go through to help market his or her books. Oh, we don't criticize other authors, since this isn't a matter of "buy my book, not his." But we do have to convince the reading public that our work is worthy of their time and money. And, as in politics, we try to do this via the media (in our case, social media), via word of mouth (readers pass the word to other readers the way voters talk to other voters), and...wait for it...providing the best possible product.

In my humble opinion, that last one is the best way for a politician or for an author to reach out and touch someone. It's certainly preferable to answering your phone and hearing me ask you to please buy my book. (Then again, if that's what it takes, feel free to leave me your number).

What do you think is the best way for a writer to market their work? For that matter, how about politicians? What can they do to convince you they're your best choice.


Mocha with Linda said...

Like you, I was soooo glad for Tuesday to come and go! The phone calls! The mailings! Every day I went straight from the mailbox to the recycle bin! I can't remember an election when we got so many postcards as we did for this on.
I am so thankful you authors don't inundate me with calls and postcards. I have always tended to favor the less pushy methods.

Be genuine, be humble, and yes, write a great book! And care about your readers! None of this glossing over the folks with a distant royal wave and a snobbish look!

Richard Mabry said...

Linda, Good points. Appreciate your comments.
Oh, and by the way--since there's a run-off election coming up here in Texas, the phone calls haven't stopped. Got one tonight. Can the post cards be far behind?
Really, folks. Are we authors that bad? I hope not.

Jackie S. said...

It seems those calls always come right at a meal time! What a nuisance.
I don't mind receiving cards from authors about upcoming books though!
And love authors' newsletters!

Richard Mabry said...

Jackie, At our house, the calls come either at mealtime or at one minute before 9 PM (which is, as I recall, the latest such calls can be made).
Reading some of the tweets and Facebook posts that roughly translate as "Please buy my book" made me wonder if writers are sometimes as bad as politicians. I hope not--but I'm going to be more aware in the future.

Deb said...

Here in Illinois, they know exactly when we sit down to supper, and call then. Grrr.

If by some cosmic mistake they ever elect me Queen, my first edict will be that politicians are limited to 3 weeks of advertising/shilling/polling prior to the election.

There. I have spoken.

Richard Mabry said...

Deb, will those be the three weeks when you're on your royal vacation out of the country?
Thanks for commenting. You have my vote.