You remember this song, right? I'm not trying to be disrespectful to anyone's religion, but I think this song title could well be adapted to our work as promoters of our books.
I think it's my job to tell anyone and everyone who meanders across my path about my books, because you never know when you are going to meet a new (potential) fan.
Let me give you a few examples:
1. I was talking with the account rep at National City Bank about transferring some money from one account to another. She said, "While we're waiting for this to go through, is there anything else I could do for you today?" And I said, "Sure! You could take a look at my new mystery on Amazon." Well, wouldn't you know it, she LOVES mysteries and scrapbooking, and she copied down my book title and told me she'd tell all her friends.
2. We said "Hi" to the nice lady in the villa two doors down from us here on Kiawah Island. She told us she was shocked because none of the renters here usually say hello, and she's a very lonely resident. "I've joined local bookclubs to get to know people," she said. And so I followed up with, "What kind of books do you read?" Then I told her about my book, and later I delivered a customized bookmark. Her daughter was visiting when I dropped off the bookmark, and my neighbor had already told her all about my book.
3. I found out that one of my doctors has a holiday boutique in her office each November. I asked if they would have an opening for me to come sell my books--and they were thrilled.
4. I talked to my sister who's a teacher about how important it is to promote my books. We changed the subject, and then, Meg said, "You know, they have a bookclub at school. I didn't even think about it, but there's no reason they couldn't read YOUR book."
5. I talked to Sonja who exercises right next to me at Jazzercise. She told me there's a book club in her association, and she's getting me the contact information.
6. At a party, I handed one of my business cards (with my cover on it) to Vickie Newton, a local news anchor for KMOV. She's planning to interview me as soon as the book comes out.
You don't have to be obnoxious. You do have to be strategic. And the conversation can't just be about you and your book...
But here's my thinking: I personally LOVE books. I really love knowing authors. And if someone shared information about his or her book with me, I'd be happy to hear the good news. As long as the person was respectful and not pushy. I'm always looking for that next new favorite author.
And I trust that there's a universe of other people who feel the same.