Success Without Overkill

I don’t know if all successful authors avoid overkill, but in her comment yesterday, Morgan named one who seems to have found a positive way of promoting her works without making her target audience feel spammed.

Debbie Macomber at Mount Hermon in 2008

The author Morgan mentioned is Debbie Macomber. I haven’t done any serious investigation to learn this, but Debbie’s blog gives a picture of how she interacts with the public.

A quick glance at her blog sidebar tells me Debbie posts two or three times a week. Here are some of the latest titles of her posts. “Footbal Sunday” (about expensive meals at her favorite football team’s stadium), “Going green–or would be that orange?” (telling how much work it is and how expensive to grow and use your own pumpkins instead of buying the canned variety), “Weekend Contentment” (re. enjoying everyday fall doings), “Young Writers” (about plans to teach a writing seminar in New York).

You get the picture—not a single mention of one of her book titles or how many words she wrote on any particular day. In fact, the only mention of her work came as a part of an announcement earlier this month that she will be changing publishers after twenty-eight years with the same house.

Well, that seems like big news, certainly something significant enough that readers would want to know. But unless you click on the “Books” tab, or a much smaller “Buy Debbie’s Books” link at the very top of her home page, you aren’t going to find a lot about her work.

She seems to adhere to her tag line – “Wherever you are Debbie takes you home.” Her short paragraph posts are conversational, personal, void of the hard-sell of campaign ads. In fact, void of an form of sell.

Granted, her Facebook page is different–she is clearly intending to use that spot to discuss her books, but even in so doing, there is more of a soft-sell tone. For example, in her last post she says

A final reminder, my friends, to sign up at http://www.meetdebbiemacomber.com for my online event on Friday, October 22nd at 3pm EST. I promise to quit making pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie long enough to answer all your questions! (Who knew my pumpkins would grow SO big?!)

First, the tone is personal. Debbie has over 32,000 people following her on that page, yet she is talking to “my friends.”

Second, she makes it clear she is viewing this event as something she wants to do for others. She’s putting aside her activities and will focus on those who want to ask her questions.

Third, she uses humor and a blog tie-in (remember the post about the effort and expense of growing and using pumpkins?) to eliminate any commercial feel.

No doubt about it, promotion is something authors should consider as part of their job these days, but what a difference between the pounding some do and the service others offer.

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Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm  Comments Off on Success Without Overkill  
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