Think of your books as souvenirs

Present word count:  25,290 (I know, I know…not enough…I promise much more next time)

Seth Godin’s Advice for Authors:

4. Understand that a non-fiction book is a souvenir, just a vessel for the ideas themselves. You don’t want the ideas to get stuck in the book… you want them to spread. Which means that you shouldn’t hoard the idea! The more you give away, the better you will do.

I think this applies equally well to fiction. We definitely want the characters, issues, and themes in our stories to spread. More than that, we want our fan base to spread out and grow. Godin is all about giving ideas away for free because he knows that, in the end, you reap what you sow.

That’s what I love about author communities like LDStorymakers and ANWA. The more we give to our fellow writers (whether it’s the benefit of our experience, or helpful critiques, or simply our attention), the more we grow and are enriched as writers. I’ve felt badly that I haven’t given more lately in either group, but my time has been crunched by both the Storymaker website and reading for the Whitneys. Still, I know that once my schedule frees up, I can make up for lost time. I don’t know if it’s the fact that 99% of us are still struggling for the audience we want… or the fact that one hit today doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of success, but for some reason, our hearts can’t help but go out to each other. Writers, as a whole, are some of the most unselfish people I know in business.

And our books truly are souvenirs for both us and our readers. They help us remember what our own lives were like as we wrote them. Depending on the content, they can help us remember people, places, or events in our lives. And they speak to our readers in similar ways, though the reading experience is unique for each person who reads our words. They meld their own memories, experiences, and ideas with ours as they read.

Sometimes, book marketing is not about sales so much as spreading your words. Think of your books as souvenirs and give some away.

Originally posted 2012-01-27 13:19:24.

Be Sociable, Share!

6 thoughts on “Think of your books as souvenirs

  1. Thank-you Tanya~

    Yes! What is the purpose of writing, if it’s not to spread our words and ideas with as wide of an audience as possible?

    It seems the challenge of sharing our work freely is that we as writers and humans are constantly on the lookout for measurable validation. This validation usually takes the form of book sales, clicks, and comments.

    Remembering our initial purpose in spreading stories and ideas for the benefit of others is a great idea, because at least for me, it inspires me to continue writing even when my clicks, sales, and comments are limited.

    I’m loving your posts. Keep them coming!

    • I’m sure you’ve had a lot more experience with this, Heather, but I imagine you’ve had lots of readers come up to you and share some insight they got out of one of your books that you hadn’t even considered. That’s when the communication really gets exciting!

    • Thanks, Janette! Of course, you’re having little difficulty these days spreading your words all around and even into other genres. Good for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *