Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Double Duty

A blog entry on PennLive serves double duty for writers. First off, it gives good advice on finding an agent. The author of Writers Gone Wild, Bill Peschel, lists and explains these steps:
Get Critiqued
Take a Class
Join the Club
Create Your Query
Prepare to Propose
Go Agent Hunting
Beware of Scams
Sign on the Line
The Path to Publication

These steps work for both fiction and non-fiction, although if you write fiction, in my opinion, you can skip “Prepare to Propose” in your action plan.

The second duty this article does is show how you can promote your book without making a hard sell and turning off possible readers. Yes, Peschel mentions his book in the second paragraph. And, yes, he includes a large image of his book cover. Then in the final section, he lists examples from his book of Publishing Perils. But the majority and the focus of his piece is on giving valuable advice to other writers. He doesn’t mention the book throughout the piece over and over. He never asks you to buy his book – not even as a wrap-up at the end of the piece.

He mentions the book, gives examples from it, shows the cover. He never hard sells. And he provides information worth reading. That’s how to sell your book without sounding like you’re trying to sell your book.

What do you think? Do you prefer the soft sell or the buy-my-book sell?

24 comments:

  1. I like the soft sell in anything.
    Hard sell is off putting to me.

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  2. I'm a soft sell girl all the way.

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  3. Soft sell, definitely. Hard sell only makes me resist the sale.

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  4. I would put "beware of scams" slightly higher on the list.

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  5. Soft sell. I hate like someone is forcing me to buy something.

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  6. I definitely have to agree with the others on the soft sell. The hard sell always feels like I'm being harassed and I hate that.

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  7. I agree with all of you. Telling me to buy your book won't get me to buy it, but offering good advice or friendship just might.

    And I hear you, MJenks. Beware of scams is very important. There seems to be more and more of them out there!

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  8. I think the soft sell of anything works better than the hard sell - the difference between word of mouth from people who enjoyed it and a vacuum cleaner salesman with his foot wedged in your door.

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  9. Little know fact:
    Tom Jones was a vacuum salesman during the day when he first started performing in nightclubs.

    I'll let you extrapolate over where I'm going with soft or hard sell there....

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  10. Soft--or softish. If it starts to feel too much like an experience at a used car lot, I turn and run. And I never go back.

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  11. It seems that most people respond to the soft sell, and that makes me wonder why so many writers I encounter on the Internet are into the hard sell. Is that something they learned from some conference or seminar?

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  12. I find a hard sell to be a total turn-off, but am aware I'm not the target for non-fiction anyway. I much prefer to learn in soundbites from people like YOU who read a ton of that stuff and can filter it for me *shifty*

    But I also learn better in small bits... I just can't make myself read a whole book on 'how to' ANYTHING.

    I think you are right though--proving he has useful info to share is a better sell than ANY hard sell could be.

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  13. Soft sell in everything. Hard sell turns me off.

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  14. I think it's a bit of a misunderstanding. Writers ask, in this day of little help from publishers to market my book, how can I sell it? And others say, go on a blog book tour! So they schedule hosts, then sell, sell, sell. But it doesn't work as well as they hoped. For one thing, buyers don't like to feel pressured. For another, the author doesn't throw a wide-enough net. They focus on blogs that have a lot of the same readers.

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  15. How about your oder duty? How is it going in the jury? No death sentences, please. I don't like that.

    Cold As Heaven

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  16. I like soft sell. Not a fan of in your face, constant email promoting.

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  17. Soft sell all the way. I get turned off my hard sells in any arena.
    Karen

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  18. I'm a 'medium' sell kinda guy. Too soft is too slow - but still effective over time if done with class - and hard is too pushy. So in-between works for me.

    I think, anyway - you've watched me promo my stuff - am I medium like I think myself? (hopeful wink)

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  19. I definitely prefer the soft-sell approach, but I do know a couple of writers who appear to be quite successful with their hard sell spiel.

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  20. It's so easy to turn away from the hardsell compared to the 'give me enough tidbits of interest so I want to know more.'

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  21. Hard sell works for some. I don't think I could do it.

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  22. Definitely soft sell. I think I hate most is doing the query and synposis. I run away from them.

    My Darcy Mutates

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  23. Thanks for the review. Love the Hel-yeah! I like short stories. Stephen King has some good ones. My book begins with a short story. I added a couple transitional paragraphs at the end but its a stan alone story.

    Best wishes for the success of The Bed Book of Short Stories and all the individual authors.

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