I received an email recently from long-time Wheatmark client Eddie Browning that invited him to display his books at Book Expo America (BEA) next month.

Eddie’s kind enough to keep me in the loop about all the different kinds of promotions authors receive on a daily basis that claim to help them market their work.

Eddie doesn’t have any intention of taking the bait, but I saw this as an opportunity to share a valuable marketing lesson with all of our readers.

The lesson is that good marketing is a process, not an event.

This is a tricky concept for many authors to grasp.

They equate “marketing” with “selling.”

They’ll often say things like “I tried marketing my book, and it didn’t work.”

Usually, what they actually mean is “I tried selling my book, and it didn’t work.”

What’s the difference?

“Selling” is pretty straight-forward. It means asking for the sale:

“Would you like to buy my book?”

“Would you like to sign the contract?”

“Will you marry me?”

“Would you like fries with that?”

These are all examples of selling questions. Notice that they expect either a “yes” or a “no” response.

What is “marketing?” One answer is simple: it’s everything you do before you ask one of the above questions!

For example: before you ask your wife to marry you, you go on a series of dates. You build a relationship with her.

Is displaying your book at BEA a good marketing activity?

Sure, so long as you don’t expect to actually sell any books! Remember, by the criteria above, your only goal is to get in front of potential buyers—not to sell books.

But I’ve been to BEA, and it’s a sea of titles—more than a single person could read in an entire lifetime.

It’s possible someone could stumble upon your book, but it’s also extremely unlikely.

Instead of these “shot-in-the-dark” approaches, there’s something else you should be doing that is much more effective—an activity that has stood the test of time and that has generated success for countless authors.

If all this is new to you, I recommend that you register for and watch my presentation “The One Way to Market Your Book” at this link.

I’ll see you soon!

Happy Friday,


Grael Norton
Wheatmark, Inc.

PS: Virtual seating is limited to 75 attendees, so register soon!