I’m changing my name to J.D. Robb. The legal work is finished, the papers signed and even though my attorney thinks I’m nuts, I’m paying her enough to shut down her arguments. If FB, Amazon and all the other social media won’t let me ‘in,’ by God, I’ll find my own way to put my books on bookstore and library shelves!
Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Facebook and Amazon have failed us (in too many ways to count) and Twitter has been taken over by politicians and other strident folk. We put time and effort into book signings, but sales are few. Yes, we must build e-mail lists, but we must also broaden our readership beyond those who ‘know’ us.
Clearly we’re going to have to think out of the box. What more fitting day than April Fool’s to start?
So I’ll get us started with out-of-the-box thinking. After all there’s nothing more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one we have. We are right to be dissatisfied with the status quo. Somehow we need to realize that we should be thinking something different about what we’re seeing. We should be coming at the problem from a brand new direction, and slay a sacred cow or two in the process.
So here, on April FOOL’s Day, let’s consult a fool about our no-sales conundrum. In the days of pharoahs, the kings would seek a fool for advice. The fool was expected to offer jokes and odd observations to elicit fresh approaches to the problem. Reversing assumptions, being irreverent, denying the problem, applying rules from another arena, providing metaphors…the fool helped people gain insight on the issue. Roger von Oech, author of A WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD, maintains foolish thinking is what we need right now.
For fun, you get to play the fool, with lots to say about the problem of selling books.
Example: The fool in me says: If a novel were a food, how would you entice a stranger to eat it? Give them a delicious sample that would hook them for life.
Your turn to whack book marketing on the side of the head…
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