Wednesday, 16 January 2013

To Sell Water To A Mermaid....(Pt 1)

Querying your novel is difficult. We all know this, it's part of the writing/blogging/cryingintoyourtea experience. How on earth are we writers supposed to make our novel stand out in a pile? When a potential agent is swamped with queries and partials, it feels impossible to convince him that your novel is worth the time. It's like trying to sell water to a mermaid.

I don't need more water, now GET OFF MY SEAWEED LAWN!

You know what else is like trying to sell water to a mermaid? A self-publishing author trying to get readers to choose his/her novel instead of another one in the sea of choices. So what do we do? We market. We sell. We convince. And how do we do that? We lean on certain principles of marketing.

Principle 1: Be Happy All the Time
This may seem a little impossible, but trust me - it works. Be happy, effectively communicate how happy you are to your potential buyers, and people are more amenable to following your suggestions. No mermaid will look at water and say, "I need more!" But everyone will look at happiness and think, "I got to get me some of that!"
Pictured: Happiness
Principle 2: Say Yes to Everything
The word 'no' does not exist - you always say yes. It's a tennis court, and saying yes sends it to the other side. If what your client is asking is impossible, attach a price to the yes. "Yes, but...." and then the responsibility for saying no is on them.

Yes, I can turn you into a human. But I will require your soul.

Always remember: people respond well to happiness and congeniality. I'm not saying start a query with 'THIS STORY IS THE BEST THING EVER IT CHANGED MY LIFE!!" but if you're not excited about your project, no one else will be either.



Optimistic Existentialist said...

Bethany what you said in your closing is so correct. I am just someone who someday aspires to write but I think when you say that, if you're not passionate about your project that noone else will be, you could not be more correct :)

Sorry fo rthe run-on sentence :)

Slamdunk said...

There is a lot to be said for those who push forward with excitement day after day; persistence is essential to success.

mshatch said...

I agree,; passion for our work is so important.

The Golden Eagle said...

Great tips!

And I like your use of The Little Mermaid pics. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Excellent points!
Hope you have a great weekend :)

Anonymous said...

A great post to end the day! Thanks. I feel better and will be happy all the time. Well, most of the time.

Anonymous said...

After five minutes of trying to get past your Word Verification, I have to say (respectfully) please get rid of the darn stupid thing. Blogger blocks 99 percent of all spam so you don't really need it. Thanks!

I forgot what my comment was after all these attempts.

Tara Tyler said...

poor stephen, i know what he means, tho. blogs are friendlier w/o word ver.

so anyway! love the little mermaid! and your analogy and your perky advice! and having blog friends helps keep us positive!

Tonja said...

I love the Little Mermaid analogy.