Tristi Pinkston

Post image for How to Properly Pack Your Purse for Promotional Possibilities by Tristi Pinkston

… Or, How to Well-stock Your Wallet for Wonderful Writer … stuff.

You never know when you’re going to run into a potential reader. If you keep your eyes open, opportunities are everywhere. Did you see an old neighbor at the grocery store? Did you overhear someone at the library saying they wanted something new to read? Did you see someone wandering the aisles at Barnes and Noble with a lost look on their face? You might not feel the urge to approach a total stranger in a store, but nearly every time you leave the house, you will have the chance to share what you do with someone else. Don’t let that moment pass you by without making the most of it.

Make sure you always, always have business cards or bookmarks in your purse or wallet. And don’t tuck them clear in the back, or let them float around in the bottom where you can’t find them and where they’ll get crumpled. Have a specific place to keep them. Know that you can reach in at any moment and put your hands right on them. Replenish them often – when you see you’re down to five, it’s time to put more in there.

Successful businessmen are always on the lookout for new clients, new opportunities. You should train yourself to be on the lookout for those same things, and you should be prepared with hand-out material. And if you don’t feel comfortable blatantly saying, “Buy my book!” you can use the back of your business card to write down other information that person might need. Do they need the name of the PTA president? Pull out your card, write it on the back, and you’ve not only gotten your information in their hands, but they have the name of the PTA president.

This new mindset—this constant awareness of opportunity—does take a little while to get used to, but soon, you’ll be marketing like a pro.

Read Tristi’s previous guest posts on Promotion:

 

Tristi Pinkston is the author of seventeen (and counting!) published books, including the Secret Sisters mystery series. In addition to being a prolific author, Tristi also provides a variety of author services, including editing and online writing instruction. You can visit her at www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com or her website at www.tristipinkston.com.

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Post image for When Shameless Self-Promotion is Shameful by Tristi Pinkston

Last year, I wrote a post about shameless self-promotion. You can read the full thing here, but essentially my point was this: if you have created something, why be ashamed to let others know you did it? Sometimes we are hesitant to say we have a new book coming out or that we’ve started a new business because we don’t want to sound like we’re bragging, but in reality, if we don’t tell others what we’re doing, we are missing the boat in expanding our endeavors.

As people stopped by and left comments, the conversation turned to a discussion of, “Yeah, but what about times when it really is inappropriate to self-promote?” I promised a follow-up post, and at long last, here it is.

Yes, I’m all about taking every opportunity to self-promote, but I’m also going to be the very first to encourage you to choose your moments. Let’s take a look at some completely made-up and over-dramatized examples.

The Right Way:

1. Standing in line at the grocery store, you overhear someone say, “Oh, these awful tabloids. I’m so tired of reading this mindless trash. Why, oh, why can’t I find a book that is intelligently written, reaches my inner core, and makes me think about the world around me in a new and different way?” And you hand her your card.

2. Walking down the aisle at the library, you spot a lady with a wistful, lost expression on her face, and she sighs, “I wonder what I should read next.” And you hand her your card.

3. You are at a class reunion and the person who broke your heart comes up to you and says, “So, what are you up to these days?” After mentally taking note of just how much they have let themselves go since letting you go, you hand them your card.

Seriously, if you are looking for opportunities, they will present themselves to you. Just don’t be afraid to open your mouth when they come along.

Now, let’s take a look at The Wrong Way:

1. Your best friend calls you up on the phone. “I’m getting a divorce,” she says. “Oh, I know how to cheer you up,” you reply. “My new book is on sale at Deseret Book! Go buy a copy. You’ll feel better in no time.”

2. You are walking through Barnes and Noble and you see someone approaching the register with Robison Wells’ new book in their hand. You dive in front of them. “Excuse me, you don’t want that book. You want this one instead,” and you shove a copy of your own book into their hands, then kick Robison Wells’ book under the counter.

3. You are at the reading of Great-Aunt Mildred’s will. Each person there was left the paltry sum of $20.00, and the rest of her vast estate was given to The Brotherhood of the Bunny Rabbits Who Wear Purple Pants. You stand up and say, “Twenty dollars? That’s great! Now you can all afford to buy my book!”

Seriously, there are times when you need to hold back, and obscure religious cults don’t always have to be involved.

Last April, I was given the opportunity to sign at Women’s Conference. My table mate was Tiffany Fletcher, author of Mother Had a SecretRead my review here. It’s a nonfiction memoir of Tiffany’s childhood growing up with a mother who had multiple personalities. As people came by our table and we gave them the rundown of our books, they seemed to need to hear what Tiffany had to say. Many of them had grown up with parents with mental illness, and she was able to bear them her testimony of how the Atonement helped see her through a rough childhood and bring her closer to Christ. Often, they left the table in tears, thanking her for what she’d said. Was I going to interrupt that and try to sell them one of my books? Absolutely not. Those women needed what someone else had to offer. As a result, I sold about five books, and Tiffany sold fifteen—all the store had in stock. Was I disappointed that I didn’t sell more? Of course. But the fifteen people who left that bookstore with Tiffany’s book will be uplifted as they read her testimony, and why on earth would I begrudge that?

I believe in karma, that when we do good, it comes back to us. I believe that when we are patient and wait for the right moment, that moment will come. It’s good to be actively seeking marketing opportunities, but it’s good to be sensitive to the situation and to know when to be quiet. You’ll get another chance later. It’s how the universe works.

 

Tristi Pinkston is the author of seventeen (and counting!) published books, including the Secret Sisters mystery series. In addition to being a prolific author, Tristi also provides a variety of author services, including editing and online writing instruction. You can visit her at www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com or her website at www.tristipinkston.com.

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Writing a Great Book Review by Tristi Pinkston

November 21, 2012
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It’s fun to write a book review. It’s fun to share opinions, to hear what others have to say, to find books that we otherwise might not know about, and it’s also a great way to bring traffic to your blog. No matter your reason for writing book reviews (it might even be for school, […]

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Finding a Good Editor by Tristi Pinkston

October 25, 2012
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Part 1: How to Work with an Editor [LDSP note: So many of my clients have made a bad match with an editor. I once had a self-published author who approached me about traditionally publishing or distributing their book. After reading the first chapter, I told them they needed to have it edited. They told […]

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How to Work with an Editor by Tristi Pinkston

October 24, 2012
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Believe me, I know how you feel. You’ve written a book, it’s taken you months/years/decades, you have large chunks of it memorized because you’ve gone over it so many times, and when you look at it, you see a big pile of blood, sweat, and tears. It represents all the nights you went without sleep, […]

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Ability vs Desire by Tristi Pinkston

September 27, 2012
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My seven-year-old son is a total hoot. The other day he came up to me and said, “Mom, people are always asking the question, ‘How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?’ I think the real question is, ‘How much does he want to chuck?’” Like any good mother, of […]

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