Author Marketing: What’s Different About You?

A marketing coach told me when I was a full-time lawyer that I ought to tell clients about my fiction writing. All of them met and dealt with skilled attorneys all the time, but a very small number of those attorneys also wrote books. What was different about me, he said, was what clients–and potential new clients–would remember.

He was right.

I've been thinking about how this same concept applies to marketing novels and non-fiction.

So Many Books

With millions of books on Amazon alone, and new authors releasing work every day, it takes more than a good book to stand out from the crowd.

I've been exploring advertising, but I don't think that alone is enough. Also, I want to connect in a more personal way with readers. Artificial Intelligence is advancing at a rapid rate. Soon AIs will be able to write tons of content. So a personal touch matters more than ever.

For all those reasons, I've been thinking about what's different about me and how it ties into my writing.

A Song In My Heart

I started playing guitar and signing when I was in junior high. My first paid job singing was at age sixteen at the Two Way Street Coffeehouse in Downers Grove. (It's still there.)

But I got away from playing music in my twenties for a few reasons. One was that I was working a regular job and writing novels on the side, and I only had so much time. Another was that I developed a repetitive stress injury in my hands and wrists. Faced with limited use of my hands, writing won out over guitar playing.

Since then I've played and sung now and then for fun but not professionally.

Writing What You Know

My music background comes into my fiction, though, and into my non-fiction.

The main character, Q.C. Davis, in my new suspense/mystery series is a lawyer, but she's also a singer in an a cappella group. In addition, I talk about singing in my upcoming book Happiness, Anxiety, and Writing: Using Your Creativity To Live a Calmer, Happier Life. Because when anxious thoughts grab hold of me in the middle of the night and won't let go I often sing a few bars of an upbeat song in my head to derail them.

So for my Q.C. Davis series, I recorded myself singing a cappella the song quoted at the beginning of the second book. It was fun to do, and my readers enjoyed hearing the song. It also allowed me to post about the book on Facebook and Twitter without doing an actual sales pitch.

For the Happiness and Anxiety book I'm planning to record myself playing and singing Keep On The Sunny Side, one of the songs I use to derail those anxious thoughts.

I've got some practicing to do before then, and my guitar desperately needs new strings, but I'm hoping to post the video within the next two weeks.

And there's another plus — guitar strings became a tax deductible expense.

What about you? What's different about you that you can have fun with, tie to your writing, and share with the world?

Until next Friday–

L.M. Lilly

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