Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kevin Smokler: Promotion is an Expresstion of Gratitude

by Deren Hansen

Authors often wince when they come to understand just how much they need to promote their work. I confess to being in that camp, particularly when it sounds like we're expected to go out and convince people to read our books.

That's why I was quite taken with Kevin Smokler (co-founder and CEO of and his idea that promotion is fundamentally an expression of gratitude. In that vein, I want to thank Nick James, who blogs at The Spectacle and posted the following
"I think the word “promotion” sends a shiver down many people’s backs. At its worst, it connotes a situation where an author is more or less trying to shove a product down readers’ throats. Very few people want to feel like salesmen. And not everybody is skilled in that area. That’s why Kevin’s definition struck me so strongly.

"Promotion, he says, is primarily “an opportunity to meet people who are interested in your book and thank them for their interest.” Or, more succinctly, it’s “an expression of gratitude and graciousness.” [source]
On Nick's recommendation, I listened to all of Dan Blank's interview with Kevin Smokler at We Grow Media. I recommend you do the same. Kevin has a number of interesting things to say about the changing role of the author in book promotion and about the industry in general.

I'm going to add the phrase, "Promotion is an opportunity to meet people who are interested in your book and thank them for their interest," to my list of mantras.

Deren blogs daily at The Laws of Making.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

So true. Promotion is critical! When my first picture book, Keep Your Ear on the Ball (Tilbury, 2007), was published, my policy was firmly to say yes first and ask questions later. It remains a successful marketing policy for me and enabled (forced) me to do things I NEVER would have considered otherwise. I read to multiply handicapped high school students, spoke at the NFB State Convention, was featured author at Family Reading Night, and did a presentation at Disability Awareness Day. All awesome experiences that would've scared me off if I'd taken time to think.