Sassy romance with a dose of new release alerts and book recommendations.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

3 Ways to Market Your Romance Novel in Person


This weekend, a friend introduced me to someone who could possibly help market my romance novels. Instead of telling him about my work, I just... blanked.

It was mortifying, but honestly, that wasn't the first time I was rendered incapable of speech when someone mentioned my writing. In fact, it has happened several times.

I'm probably not the only writer who has experienced this, because most of us are introverts. (Understatement of the year.) Like the evil mastermind that I am, I decided to be more prepared the next time I have to market my books in person.

Hopefully, what I've come up with can help you too.

1. Prepare an elevator pitch.


In my very corporate day job, we were taught to have an elevator pitch ready for whenever we meet clients. It basically sums up who you are and what you do.

For example, an elevator pitch for my day job would go like this: Hi. I'm Something Something, and I handle a team of 15 people for the Something Something account.

My author elevator pitch could be: Hi! I'm Clarisse David, a young adult and new adult romance author. I'm working on I Heart Iloilo, a series of YA/NA romantic comedy novels set in Iloilo City.

See? Quick. Relatively easy.

Some might say that having a rehearsed speech might hinder you from having a more natural interaction, but that’s better than no interaction at all. So far, I’ve noticed that starting to talk about your writing is the hardest hurdle, but once you get past it, things get so much easier.

As a result, I highly recommend starting with an elevator pitch.

2. Get yourself some business cards.


I’m not just talking about boring business cards that could be anyone’s.

Your business card essentially represents you, so it should look like, you know, you. If you’re already using a specific color scheme for your website and social media accounts, you can use the same one for your business card.

Better yet, MAKE SURE to use the same colors and fonts. Why? Because your business card is an extension of your author brand.

Aside from your name and number, it should also contain links to your website as well as to the social media account you use the most. If it’s Twitter, include your Twitter username alongside the Twitter icon, so people know where to look. The same goes for Instagram, Facebook, etc.

When we get nervous while talking to someone for the first time, there’s a tendency that we’re going to forget important details. Like where they can buy our books. Having a business card solves that for you. No matter what you may have forgotten during the conversation, the person you gave the business card to knows how to contact you and can later get the information they need.

3. Know that there are jerks aplenty in the world.


Romance novels are totally my jam. I love reading, writing, and shouting to the world in general about them.

But there are plenty of people who look down on the romance genre because it’s “not literary enough” or are “written and read by desperate women who can’t get themselves boyfriends/husbands.” UGH.

Listen, I’m not telling you to be on the defensive all the time, because that would be exhausting. You’re amazing. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

I am, however, telling you to not be naïve. There’s a huge chance you’ll encounter several people like this in your lifetime (even though I sincerely hope you don’t), and you should know how to deal with them, so they don’t take you by surprise and get the better of you.

Here are some responses you can use:

Scenario #1:

Random Person: You don’t have a boyfriend, so where did you get the inspiration for your romance novel?

Wonderful Romance Writer: I’m sure the author of that thriller novel you love so much isn’t actually a serial killer in real life. *insert smile here*

Scenario #2:

Random Person: Aren’t all romance novels the same? They all have happy endings.

Wonderful Romance Writer: And that only makes them more amazing. You know how they end, but they still surprise you in one way or another whenever you read them.

Personally, I think sarcasm and kindness are necessary when dealing with people like this. Sarcasm to let them know that you won’t take snide remarks about your books lying down. Constructive criticism and mean comments are different, after all. Kindness because these people might not like this thing you’re super passionate about and that’s okay too.

Conclusion


Marketing your books in person is hard. I know. Online, we have quote graphics, retweets, and purchase links to help us out. In person, all we have are... ourselves. You know what? That's more enough.
© Clarisse David
Maira Gall