Today I’m pleased to feature a guest post by author Barbara Conelli, as a part of the virtual book tour for her latest endeavor Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore. There’s also a free online gift bag, full of chique gifts courtesy of Barbara, so check out the end…
This one is especially near and dear to my heart, since it covers one of the areas of book publishing/writing that is the least attractive to me: marketing. Don’t get me wrong – I am a huge fan of shameless self-promotion every now and again, as evidenced by posts whenever I am named for a blogging award or featured somewhere. I even have an awards page. (teehee) But that kind of promotion I’m okay with. It’s the *real* kind that sets me to rocking in the corner…
I have never enjoyed marketing or advertising or public relations or promotions. I worked in Big Pharma for a number of years, and it was one of the pieces of that world that made me the most uncomfortable. I don’t care for the game that you have to play to sell things. Never have, and most likely never will. But it’s an inexplicable part of the writing/publishing process (as it is of most other processes in the modern world), and like it or not, I am going to have to do it. Barbara’s advice made me feel a teensy bit better about it. I’m still not looking forward, mind you, but do think that she has her finger exactly on what makes people like me so uncomfortable – and maybe, just maybe, that finger-tip has also managed to highlight a way to help us deal better with the discomfort… Here’s hoping you agree!
Special thanks to Barbara and the good folks at WOW (Women on Writing) – especially Robyn Chausse – for letting me participate in this blog tour. Please be sure to check out all the great stuff Barbara is offering in addition to her words of wisdom! 🙂
Does The Word “Marketing” Make Your Stomach Churn?
by Barbara Conelli
You hear it all the time: “I wish I could just write. I hate all that marketing stuff. I don’t know what I’m doing. It takes up too much of my time. I just hate talking about what I do. I wish someone else would take care of the marketing stuff.”
Well, let me tell you this. You can certainly write, reveal your talent only to friends and family, and be a happy camper. However, if you choose to be courageous instead, take responsibility for your talent, accept your calling and your purpose, and serve in the highest possible way by sharing your writing with those who are meant to read it, one day you will look back and realize you have used every single drop of water in the well of your writer’s life, and it was well worth it. It’s easier than you may think; you don’t need to learn anything new. On the contrary, you need to forget the following:
1. Forget Marketing, Promotion, PR, Advertising and all those tricky words that make you sick. Marketing doesn’t work. Sharing does. You are here to share. How can you share your gifts with your readers today, so that you can give the best of yourself, and receive their love in return?
2. Forget what “the experts” say. Everyone seems to be a book marketing expert today. More and more book marketing gurus appear out of nowhere, raking in the money for telling desperate writers what they should and shouldn’t do. Personally, I refuse to listen to people who teach book marketing without ever having written a book, or without having written a book in my genre. Instead, I suggest you look around, write down a few sharing techniques that appeal to you, and then work them. Tweak them, adjust them, replace them with new ones if they don’t work, wash, rinse, repeat. Only then can you create a personal sharing system that will work for you and your books, respecting your authentic voice. There’s no magical formula, and there are no blueprints. Be bold, be the trailblazer of your career.
3. Forget what “those who mean well” say. I know your mama, your neighbor and your fat orange cat mean well. But unless they have built a successful writing career themselves, their well-meant comments and pieces of advice tend to be useless. I know, they’re just trying to protect you, they don’t want you to get your hopes up and get hurt, they are genuinely trying to help. But they will never be in your shoes, and those writer’s shoes are yours to fill. If this is what you want, go for it. If they disapprove, get over it. No one can make your dream come true for you, and no one has the right to trample it into the ground.
Don’t market your books, share them. Don’t be afraid to open up. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be genuine. Be passionate. Be fearless. Be authentic. Love your readers, and they will love you back. Happy sharing!
Barbara Conelli: Author of Chique Books filled with Italian passion
“When life gives you twists and turns, Chique Yourself Up in Italy.”
Barbara Conelli is an internationally published bestselling author, seasoned travel writer specializing in Italy, and Chiquenist on the mission to bring Fantastic Fearless Feminine Fun into women’s lives. In her charming, delightful and humorous Chique Books filled with Italian passion, Barb invites women to explore Italy from the comfort of their home with elegance, grace and style, encouraging them to live their own Dolce Vita no matter where they are in the world.
Barb learned to read and write at the age of four, and a year later, she wrote her first bestselling book that became a big hit in local kindergartens. She turned into an overnight success that lasted for twelve exciting hours. Since then, she has never separated from her writing endeavors. Barb writes even in her sleep and she can often be seen sitting on her bed at three a.m. with a flashlight frantically processing her somnambulant ideas. A born nomad and adventurer, she’s been there, she’s done it, and she’s not afraid to write about it.
An entertaining storyteller, Barb has a unique ability to capture the magical atmosphere of the places she writes about. Through the pages of her books, Barb takes your hand and guides you through the irresistible beauty, captivating secrets, unrepeatable spell and fugitive moments of Italy. She makes them come alive easily and spontaneously, and her writing is like a magic carpet that carries you to Italy and back in the blink of an eye. She introduces you to fascinating women who have created the face of Italy, lifts the shroud of their mysteries, and reveals adorable places off the beaten track where the authentic Italian heart hasn’t stopped beating.
As a naturally curious person who loves traveling, meeting new people and discovering their life stories, Barbara founded Chique Show, an entertaining radio show for women and about women. On Chique Show, Barbara shares her Dolce Vita adventures and interviews inspiring women authors and experts who show listeners how to live their sweet life with gusto.
Barb lives between New York and Milan, and as a real globetrotter, she’s always on the move, accompanied by her adorable and very spoiled beagle. To her, writing is like breathing, and she’s currently working on her new book.
For more information, visit Barbara’s website or look for her on the radio.
And Now for the Goodies!
Downloadable Gift Bag – if you take the time to provide a comment, Barbara will take the time to send you a downloadable gift bag! The gift bag consists of:
- Chique Virtual Tour: The Secret Gems of Italy Every Woman Must Know
- 1st five chapters of Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita
- 1st five chapters of Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore
- Chique Blog Tour Special Gift (Only for the tour!): E-Book: The Most Romantic Chique Places to Fall in Love in (and with) Milan
WOW-Summer in Italy contests – Barbara is running two contests:
- An Italian Phrase contest – Learn Italian (and win a prize!) Every Tuesday & Thursday from now through August 23, 2012 Barbara will be posting a new Italian word (+ audio). Visit Barbara’s blog (http://barbaraconelliblog.com/category/writers-life/find-the-phrase-contest/) every Tuesday & Thursday to see and hear a new Italian word. At the end of the tour put all the words together into a phrase and enter it at Barbara’s blog site (http://www.barbaraconelli.com/findthephrase.htm). One winner will be drawn from those with the correct phrase. Prize is a chique leather wallet! Contest is open internationally. Words will be posted along with audio link. Winner will be announced Thursday, August 23, 2012.
- Essay Contest – If I Lived in Italy I Would… What would you do if you lived in Italy? Dream big and start writing! Your essay should be as long as you need it to be to express yourself! Submit your essays at the Essay Contest page at Barbara’s blog (http://www.barbaraconelli.com/essaycontest.htm). One winner will be chosen to receive a Chique Kindle Sleeve!
Other Cool Stuff:
- Barbara will be hosting her own Q & A on her radio show. You can submit your questions on the following topics here: Questions on writing and publishing (on July 20); Questions about Italy and travel (on August 17). Then tune in to the Chique Show on July 20th and August 17th for the pre-recorded sessions. http://www.barbaraconelli.com/radio.htm
- Barbara’s latest book is specially priced on Amazon for July and August! Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore will be available for 99 cents through August 24, 2012. Click the image of the book below to buy!
- Book tour trailer on YouTube