One of the wisest quotes I’ve ever ready about book marketing, and about art in general, came from a blog. And not the actual blog, but from the comment section on a Tim Ferriss post. Kathy Sierra, a bestselling author had this to say about bestselling books.
When I talk with our authors about creating bestsellers, we start by looking at the attributes of bestsellers including the book itself and its promotion. But the only reliable path to creating one is in realizing that the attributes of a bestseller DO NOT LIVE IN THE BOOK (or its marketing). The attributes of a bestseller live in the reader. They live in the result your book produced for that reader.
Tim Ferris responded to her comment with an even more insightful quote that he had learned from Kathy as well.
“In Amazon reviews, which would you rather have people talk about: you or your book?”
The answer was, of course: "Neither. You want them to talk about THEMSELVES… the results they achieved, the before-and-after awesomeness in their lives.”
Even if these comments were referring to non-fiction, I think it applies to any form of art. Whether its a website, a book, a painting, music, anything, the best promotional tools are people mentioning your art in conjunction with transformation. That’s where the tribe, the platform, the conversation starts. Your art becomes the stage for others to connect and discuss the impact of your art.
Personally, I can't try to duplicate zombie novels or bestsellers. I can't try to be more articulate and clever than I actually am. Instead, I have to write with as much heart as possible. My goal is to focus on adding value and writing stories that are as authentic as possible in hopes that it will help someone along the way.