|Martha Brockenbrough just before her session started (before the room filled to overflowing.)|
Martha starts out by saying to the beyond standing-room-only crowd that:
It's not about marketing, it's about building relationships, and those relationships sell your book for you.
It's not about the hard sell - it's about this question: Do you enjoy meeting people who love books as much as you do?
"Connect with the right people and you'll ultimately connect with the right readers."
The breakout session was structured as the five key steps to building those relationships (and that killer public presence.)
I'll divulge one of the steps here::
Define your brand
Here's how that breaks down:
1. Identify who your ideal reader is
Martha's is: A weird independent nerd
2. summarize your book, who it's about, tone, sense of stakes
What is Martha's YA novel, Devine Intervention about?
"It's about the world's worst guardian angel, the girl he accidentally kills and the 24 hours they have to sneak her soul into Heaven before it disappears forever."
3. summarize your writing as a whole
Martha's website header says it all: "Author of Books for Smart Kids and Juvenile Adults"
4. convey it visually - while still being your authentic self
Martha has that cool streak in her hair that makes teen girls say, "I like your hair!"
5. leverage your unique background
Martha leveraged her passion for grammar by founding The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar and creating a holiday for it. This got her a lot of press coverage, and her reviews often speak of her love of language.
Martha is a fountain of information, and her session covers so much more! From how to leverage common core to the significance of pre-orders, we get example after example of how she and other authors did things right.
It's essential, inspiring, and as the person next to me said after the applause tapered down at the session's end:
"That was awesome."