Entering the World of Book Promotion – Part 1


The title to this blog might more aptly read – Being Dragged Kicking and Screaming into the World of Book Promotion. From what I have seen so far of my book promotion material, (provided for me as part of my Friesen Press publication package) I can’t decide whether to run screaming out of the room or roll on the floor laughing.

But, all kidding aside, the next phase of my self-publishing journey is upon me and though I have been committed to taking each thing as if comes, learning as I go – I admit to trepidation. This stage seems more than a tad intimidating.

Where to start? At the beginning I suppose – self-publishing a book is like starting your own small business. I need to find my target market, get a good understanding of where my future customers hang out, suss out the competition and find out what makes my product unique. Are you still with me? I know I’ve lost all the writers, they have run out of the room and are now hiding in a corner of a cluttered closet under a blanket.

I must answer questions related to my motivation for writing the book in the first place, my personal idea of success, what the purpose of my book might be, and how would I define the obstacles in my way of moving forward with promotion. (I resist scrawling – I’m so afraid – in the blank spaces of the module workbook.) And finally I come to the six million dollar question – What is the unique selling point of my novel (USP for short)? It’s critical for marketing, this USP. It tells people why they should buy my book rather than one of the million other books out there clamouring for their attention. It’s a signature that stays with and becomes synonymous with the title of my book.

No pressure there, right folks?

Here is what I have been working on as USPs ideas for Disappearing in Plain Sight:

  • If you’ve ever felt like life disappeared you, a little or a lot, then this book is for you.
  • If you are a parent, or someone who works with or provides care for young adults, if you were young once yourself and remember the experience – this book is for you.
  • Have you ever had to work at rebuilding your life after the loss of a friend or loved one? You may find that the complex emotions that surround such an effort are reflected in parts of this novel.
  • The novel handles complex and challenging life issues in the authentic voices of both young people and the adults who act and react to them
  • You will be drawn into a unique setting – an isolated lake on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia
  • The novel will touch your emotions (people report crying) but also manage to evoke humour (indicative of reality – even people who face very difficult life events have other things going on. They laugh as well as cry.)
  • The novel may give you  a feel good happy ending (but that depends on what you were looking for – no spoilers here), but expect to be challenged in your concepts of right and wrong. When it comes to complicated life choices, Disappearing in Plain Sight provides no black and white answers – only shades of grey.

OK – seriously – reading that USP stuff – I’m not sure whether to pat my back or run as fast as I can. So far – promotion is way harder than writing.

In my next post, I’ll give you an overview of the four major sections of a book promotion toolkit.


I think Jack London would have been the right type of guy to do self-promotion – do or die!

4 comments on “Entering the World of Book Promotion – Part 1

  1. JimsGotWeb says:

    Hi Francis,
    I’m close to having my first book self published, so I really appreciate this post. I’ve never heard of USP before, you’ve given me a lot to think about. I’m looking forward to reading more of your journey.

  2. SJ Main says:

    Ok, just peeking out from under my blanket to say that the first point really hits home for me – the idea that your book is for people who feel ‘disappeared’ – that is what would get my attention. Are you planning on choosing one USP, or are multiple USP’s ok?

    • Peeking out from under my blankets to reply – I wonder if I might have a USP for each of the different audiences I think my book might appeal to? But then again, maybe one really catchy one is the way to go. I’ll just sign this – learning as I go.

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