Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Key Ingredient to Marketing Your Book: Enthusiasm by Nicky Pitman

To some of you this may sound like some rah-rah, Pollyanna-esque piece of marketing fluff, but the bottom line is enthusiasm is the fuel for self-promotion. Without it, your self-promoting vehicle (that would be you) will find itself sitting in the driveway, possibly looking pretty, but going nowhere.

Most people like to be around enthusiastic people. There are people whoever, who don’t. No matter how excited, passionate, and open-hearted you are, there’s always one (or two, or three) who will not join in your delight. However, I have learned that you can’t let these people burst your bubble.

Even those that seem less than excited to talk with you and hear about your book, are often carefully listening, and if they respond at a later time then your enthusiasm was not for naught.

At Book Expo America this last spring, we (the DPP staff) had an opportunity to speak with a great many authors. Many had rented booths to promote their books and many simply walked around from booth to booth touting their book(s) to the myriad of publishers and agents.For the most part, their enthusiasm was contagious as well. Those authors who spoke passionately about their book(s) made a lasting impression on each of us. Some used gimmicks (and please, think of “gimmick” in a positive context here, as I know it can conjure up negative reactions) and some simply talked about their book.One children’s book had a Western theme to it and was being heralded about the Expo floor by the author and her friends dressed in 19th century Western wear, passing out “sheriff badges” with the name of the book inscribed on them.

A family-run small publishing company had a booth on our row, and they used all kinds of marketing paraphernalia: really big book bags in a bright color that matched the color in their company’s name – those were the hit of the Expo! Everyone was walking around with one of their bags! They also had some amazing marketing paraphernalia to get the word out about their newest book, written by the father and one of the daughters.The main thing about the two cases mentioned above (the family-owned publishing company and the children’s author), was that they were all so gung-ho - excited to talk about their book and engage…with everybody!

The motivational speaker and author, Zig Ziglar once said: “For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.”

For many of us, self-promotion is a loathsome thing. How do you put yourself out there without coming across as boastful or grandiose? How do you “plug” yourself and your book without being pushy or even obnoxious? The answer, I believe, is genuine enthusiasm.

Let’s be honest – not everything about marketing is enjoyable. However, approaching marketing with enthusiasm, is going to bring about far better results than not.

E = MC².

In other words: Enthusiasm equals Marketing Conductivity Multiplied!

Call it Nicky’s Theory of Marketivity, if you will (and if you won’t, then call it something else). But use it!

You can think about this theory in a couple of different ways:

1) Think of yourself as the conductor of your very own marketing orchestra: you decide what instruments (marketing tools) are going to play when - which ones will lead, which ones will follow; which ones are going to be featured and which ones will take a backseat; which ones will play the ongoing rhythm, while others may be jazzing it up – improvising. Add a tuba-full of enthusiasm. Or…

2) Think of yourself as a conduit for marketing – through you: what you say, how you act, who you reach out to, where you go, what you’re willing to do will determine how much exposure and sales come your way. Pave your path with gusto and zest.

3) Mix these two up: Conduct your conduit! Use one, two, or all the marketing tools in your arsenal and put yourself in contact with, and places where, you can get the most possible exposure. Add mirthful fervor to each and every step.

There are actually more ways to approach your marketing – but as long as you add enthusiasm you will always wind up with E = MC². Theory that it may be, I’ve seen it put to practice time and time again, and proved the theory true. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Nicky Pitman is the PR/Marketing director for DigitalPulp Publishing (, an eBook publishing and distribution company. She is also a writer and creativity coach. She can be reached at

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