Writers, heed the “Law of the Little Shovel”

A focused, concentrated effort will reap the best promotional benefits

A focused, concentrated effort will reap the most promotional benefits

Seth Godin wrote in his blog of “The Law of the Little Shovel.”  It makes so much sense, I thought I’d expand on this concept as it applies to pre-published and published authors.

The Law of the Little Shovel, and I’m quoting Seth:  If you want to dig a big hole, you need to stay in one place.  If you walk around town with a little shovel, you’ll just end up digging thousands of little holes, not one big one.  Call on one person ten times and you might make the sale. Call on ten people once each and you will likely get ten rejections.

I see this principle working with novel promotion and literary brand development. We receive so much advice from well-meaning writers that we can get carried away, digging thousands of little holes, holes without depth or substance because we’re trying to accomplish the work of several experienced staffers at a public relations firm.

Does any of this advice sound familiar?

● You must have a website. Develop a presence there and on social media sites.  Do this before you’re published so you’ll have a platform in place when you sell your first novel.

● Get 500 friends on MySpace/Facebook/Twitter so you have a platform.

● Develop a media kit with bio, photos, and a list of local media.

● When your book releases, do a multi-city book tour. Schedule a string of signings, save money by driving and staying at relatives’ and friends’ homes to contain costs.

● Develop a fun contest on your website to build traffic.

● Blog every day and become known as an expert.

● Volunteer frequently. Serve on boards. Be visible.

● Offer e-zine articles for free.  It gives great exposure and will help you build traffic on your website.

Remember the Law of the Little Shovel, and resist the urge to dig a thousand shallow holes.  Focus on what you can do, and do it well. Nurture your talent and keep writing your first priority.

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2 Comments

Filed under Social Media Marketing, success techniques, The Writing Life

2 responses to “Writers, heed the “Law of the Little Shovel”

  1. Some great advice here. Thanks Janet

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