As I watch President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney campaign for the presidency, I’m struck by how much I can identify with them. Oftentimes, I feel like I have to campaign for my books.
I watched their different strategies, trying to pick up some tips as I try to win people’s favor as they choose from all the different candidates—I mean, books—out there. Here’s what I discovered they did:
Be confident that you have what people need. If you’ve written your best book then be bold in spreading the word about your work. This is often hard for me. I’d much rather have other people promote me. Then I realized that my books aren’t about me. My books are about the story I’m supposed to write. So now I’m trying to take more risks and trust that people want to be entertained and inspired, and my books are just the solution they need.
Go to the people… find your niche. There’s a sign by my desk that reads: Go to the readers. Too often I surround myself with other writers and try to sell my books. Now, I’m looking for niche publications and websites and book clubs that like romantic suspense and humorous mystery novels.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you. I truly believe this is important. Writing is a lonely business. We need people in our lives to hold us up and support us. When I looked at all the people who are on the campaign trail with the candidates, I realize that each of those people—whether paid or volunteer—is needed. Similarly, as authors we need people to critique for us, to help us to spread the word, to hand out flyers at book signings, and many more things. Sometimes, these people will be the ones you least expect.
Accept each media opportunity. I didn’t see the candidates turning down very many media opportunities, even when the venue meant certain scrutiny. Prepare yourself to answer the tough questions that may be thrown at you by interviewers. Turn your answers into your talking points.
Present yourself with your best foot forward. What would you have thought if one of the candidates appeared before a crowd of people wearing sweats and with bed head? They wouldn’t make a good impression. The other day as I was getting my hair done, I told my hair stylist about some issues I was having with my curls. She said, “Girl, you’re a famous author. You can’t go around with bad hair.” And she’s right. While appearance isn’t everything, do make an effort to look professional, especially when you’re making an appearance of some sort.
Work like Election Day is coming. The election being whether or not your readers and publisher will “vote” yes for your next book.
Many, many blessings!
PS—Aren’t you glad you don’t have to wait four years for the next opportunity to pursue your big dream?
About the Author:
Christy Barritt is an author, freelance writer and speaker who lives in Virginia. She's married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious—but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. She's only won one contest in her life--and her prize was kissing a pig (okay, okay... actually she did win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery for her book Suspicious Minds also). Her current claim to fame is showing off her mother, who looks just like former First Lady Barbara Bush.
When she's not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is.
For more information, visit her website at: www.christybarritt.com.
Her newest book, Ricochet, releases in September from Love Inspired Suspense.
When Molly Hamilton returns to her beloved summer camp, she finds nothing but trouble. First she hits a dead body in the road before arriving. Then she discovers the camp director is missing. If that isn't stressful enough, Molly's new boss is none other than Nick White, the man who once broke her heart. Nick and Molly know there's something dangerous going on at Camp Hope Springs. But as the former teenage sweethearts try to uncover the mystery, they discover even more hidden secrets—about the camp and themselves. Saving the camp may not be safe, especially for their hearts.