Letting Your Literary Light Shine
By Amy Groening
Christmas and New Years are a fantastic time to get together with loved ones, acquaintances, and the people you don’t see on a very regular basis—which makes this an ideal time to talk about your book. Here is the perfect opportunity to network, make connections, and inform anyone who isn’t up on current events that you are a published author! However, a lot of authors feel a little bashful when it comes to talking up their books. Here are some quick tips to help you make it through the holidays and get your book out there too!
1) Make sure you’re well-stocked.
It may seem like a no-brainer but the easiest way to get someone to buy your book is to put a copy of it in their hand. This doesn’t mean you have to show up to Aunt Matilda’s on Christmas Eve lugging a box of 50 copies of your book—that might be a bit much. However, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have that box of books in the trunk, just in case, and to have a copy or two on hand (this is when it really comes in handy to accessorize with a handbag or briefcase that can fit a copy or two of your book inside for easy access. If your book is really small, you might even be able to fit a copy into the pocket of your parka (yay, winter!)). Whatever your chosen method of transportation, make sure you’re armed with a few copies before you step into the social sphere.
Note: It might also be a good idea to carry promotional materials like business cards, postcards, or bookmarks that advertise your books. Even if you can’t fit a book into your pocket it’s likely you can fit a few cards in it. You could even go so far as to include a personalized bookmark in all your Christmas Cards or stocking stuffers—it’s a simple, smooth way of mentioning your book without having to go out of your way to talk about it, making it a great option for the shyer authors among us.
Need promo materials? We’ve got you covered! Read about our promo packs in our services section. But if you need them in time for the holidays, talk to us asap!
Luckily Christmas encourages mingling, so use that to your advantage. Talk to the people you rarely get to see, and the people who may not know you’ve even written a book. There are often super simple ways to bring up your book in conversation—as people ask what you’ve been up to, how you’re doing, and what the latest news is, work on your book can come up very naturally and comfortably.
3) Don’t be afraid to bring it up.
It might feel like bragging to bring up your book, which can be hard for the more humble among us. Remember, God gave you this story to share with the world. It’s not rude to talk about it! It might be that someone at this party really needs to read your story, so let your light shine! Your book is a gift worth being proud of and thankful for. It can also be a pretty interesting subject to discuss—book publishing can seem like a mysterious process to colleagues who have never tried it, and now you’re the resident expert on it, so share that buzz with them! If you’re excited about it, you can get the people around you excited about it, too!
4) …Or at least talk about a similar subject.
If you can’t find an easy way of bringing up the book itself, why not talk about the general subject? Again, you’re a bit of an expert in this now—you’ve written a book on it! Whether it’s a fantasy novel or a theological text, you know a bit about your subject matter. If you’ve written a book on church life, start a conversation about the church; it could easily work its way around to a place where it does feel natural to bring up your books. If you’ve written a novel, you could even start by talking about other novels. The classic, “read any good books lately?” can be an opener to bring up your own!
5) Most importantly: R-E-L-A-X
You may be on a mission to bring your book to the masses, but don’t let it ruin the party for you. Come armed with bookmarks, try to talk on your subject matter, and mingle, for sure, but don’t become so fixated on your book that you forget to have fun; social gatherings are a great opportunity to share about your book but they’re also just a great place to connect with people and let God’s love flow through you.
We hope these tips help to get you in the holiday mood. Have some tips of your own? Share them on our Facebook Page!
About this Contributor:
Amy Groening is a project manager at Word Alive Press. She is a passionate storyteller with experience in blogging, newspaper reportage, and creative writing. She holds an Honours degree in English Literature and is happy to be working in an industry where she can see other writers’ dreams come to life. She enjoys many creative pursuits, including sewing, sculpture and painting, and spends an embarrassingly large amount of time at home taking photos of her cats committing random acts of feline crime.