When nineteen-year-old Dorit Sasson realized that if she didn’t want to become just like her fearful mother, she had no choice but to distance herself from her, she volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces—and found her path to freedom.
Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces is Sasson’s story of how she dropped out of college and volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces in an effort to change her life—and how, in stepping out of her comfort zone and into a war zone, she discovered courage and faith she didn’t know she was capable of. The first memoir to share a female immigrant’s experience with serving in the Israel Defense Forces, Accidental Soldier is the powerful account of one woman’s journey to become her own person.
Accidental Soldier was shortlisted for the Sante Fe Literary Awards
5 Courageous Things Authors Can Do to Promote Their Books
Now that I’m in the throes of promoting my newly released memoir Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces, I can definitely say that without courage, authors will feel challenged being in the “selling spotlight.”
It’s a no-brainer that promoting and branding requires courage. After all, you’re learning to feel more comfortable speaking about your book, and moving from the status of an unknown to known author takes time and energy.
These five “courageous tips” have been helping me move away from a “salesy” mindset to one where I’m actually thinking strategically with my platform.
- Don’t be afraid to “sell” your book’s benefits
This is the author’s bottom line or the “Why?” for the reader. Why should the reader buy this book? What’s in it for the reader?
If you’re promoting a memoir, be deliberate about the benefits. Think — why did millions of people buy Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love? What was it about the story that was relatable and engaging? What kinds of themes, takeaways and lessons does your book offer?
- Don’t be afraid to “sell” your books
Yeah, you read that right. The last things authors want to feel is salesy and sleazy. That’s why I interviewed Norine Dworkin-McDaniel of The Science of Parenthood for my podcast Giving Voice to Your Courage, who has a knack for selling books organically, with pizzazz and courage.
You’d be surprised to find that this has nothing to do with an introvert-extrovert type mindset. And you aren’t doomed if you weren’t born an extrovert.
- Aim to inspire
Becoming a #1 bestselling Amazon author is not an end all goal. The media glamorizes success and in turn, authors think they need to buy into a package that will encapsulate the success needed to become a #1 Amazon bestselling author.
Ads don’t inspire. People do. Authors do.
Most authors won’t get rich from their first person (and probably not the second or third) but they will inspire readers to lead richer lives. I aim to inspire my listeners to do more courageous things on my podcast Giving Voice to Your Courage each time I interview an author or entrepreneur who has made the impossible, possible.
I aim to inspire my readers to walk away with a culturally rich perspective of what it meant to leave my mother and New York City and serve as a female immigrant in the Israel Defense Forces and show how those earlier lessons of courage are now serving me as a mother, wife and author.
So here’s a question to ask yourself each time you put yourself and your book out there — How can your book inspire someone else to lead a better more fulfilling life?
- Offer your readers a totally different experience than the expected
It takes courage to build a heartfelt connection. The familiar expectation of doing a “reading at a bookstore” is what many authors do, but it’s certainly not memorable as far as creating an “experience.” They can always pick up your book from the shelf, or for that matter, read it online on Amazon.
The key is offer an experience.
I’ve sat at author fairs and festivals where authors did nothing but sit behind a table waiting for a reader to discover them. One author actually pulled up her hoodie and sat behind her computer and became engrossed writing her novel.
Why bother promoting your book if you’re not interested in interacting with readers?
- Talk up your story
When I do in-person events, I talk up the personal story piece because that’s part of the narrative arc. I talk about the courage it took to break the self-imposed silence and write about getting the support I needed to feel protected writing about serving in the Israel Defense Forces.
Even if you didn’t write a memoir, there are many opportunities to talk up your story:
- Talk about the journey to write your book despite the obstacles
- Share ways you overcame problems and issues during the writing process
- Discuss some of the time management issues involved in reaching the finish line
So there you have it – 5 ways to promote your book with courage. Yes, it takes courage, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. In the end, you’ll gain new followers who will be clinging unto your message waiting breathlessly to apply lifelong lessons from your next book.
Dorit Sasson is the founder of the Giving Voice to Your Story website and Giving Voice to Your Courage weekly podcast. Her mission is to support heart-centered business owners and heart-centered authors as they find their brand voices, share their unique stories,gain more visibility, establish themselves as experts, and create authentic marketing messages, all through the use of smart content strategy and engaging copywriting. Giving Voice to Your Story was named one of Top 100 Websites for Writers by The Write Life in 2016.
Dorit inspires others to take risks and work from a courageous heart at various speaking events across the country. Dorit continues to inspire others as a content strategist and copywriter through her blog, guest blogs, and podcast appearances. In addition to business writing,Dorit writes passionately about courage to reinvent herself as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces and the courage to find passion and meaning from everyday living even if that means leaving your comfort zone. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Visit DoritSassoon.com for more information and to sign up for her newsletter!