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Simple Promo Tip: Call Your Book By its Name

nameless [1]It’s a funny thing, being both the creator of such an intimate and personal product as a book and the one who has to do most of its peddling.  This contradiction — asking authors to throw what’s often deeply private smack into the public realm for commercial purposes — can have strange effects on behavior.

Some of us may find ourselves at a loss for words when we’re asked what our book is about, even if we’ve recited our elevator pitch one-line description a thousand times.  Others may blush, or lower our gazes and voices when speaking about our WIPs.

None of which helps us put our best foot forward — especially from a publicity perspective.

Then there’s the title.  Time and again I’ve seen even the most experienced authors make what I consider to be a big publicity faux pas.  It happens at readings, on conference panels and in casual conversation.

It can be summed up with these two simple words. “My book.”

That is, referring to the book they’re talking about, amorphously, as “my book.”

Each time, I cringe.  “Doesn’t it have a name?” I wonder, “A title?  Something to give it an identity beyond: ‘a very personal endeavor I’ve slaved over for years that’s become inseparable my very existence?’”

Which leads me to this quick, ridiculously simple promo tip for every writer out there (bonus: using it is cost-free!):

Always refer to your book by its title.

Or by an abbreviation of the title if it’s long.  Especially when addressing a group.


Though simple, this isn’t easy.  You may find yourself blushing when you hear yourself say the title – kind of like catching a glimpse of yourself in a mirror while out in public — or reciting that dreaded one-line description.

But if you stick with it, including with the working titles of your WIPs, you’ll find that in addition to supporting your promotional efforts, it’ll help you gain or solidify that poise you’ll need for them to be successful.


About Sharon Bially [2]

Sharon Bially (@SharonBially [3]) is the founder and president of BookSavvy PR [4], a public relations firm devoted to authors and books. Author of the novel Veronica’s Nap [5], she’s a member of the Director's Circle at Grub Street, Inc., the nation’s largest independent writing center, and writes occasionally for the Grub Street Daily.