Over the past couple years I have collected what would probably be a ream or so, were the collection on paper, of advice about business promotion in general and book promotion in particular. Since I’m an avid collector but not such an avid reader of how-to stuff, I have yet to read most of my collection. But now and then, usually with a sigh or grimace, I plunge into business mode.
During one of those plunges, a piece of advice struck me as real wisdom. Which may only mean I found it easy to swallow, like health advice that praises dark chocolate, red wine, and coffee. Either way, what I appreciated was a reminder that we can’t do it all and the assurance our best course was to concentrate on the kind of promotion we either enjoy or at least find somewhat palatable.
With that wisdom in the back of my mind, I later came upon this gem: rather than attempt to promote our books, we should work on building our legacy.
One reason I find this notion appealing is, before we can build our legacy, we need to decide what we want it to be. The notion has led me to some parenting insights and a change or two in behavior. And it has sent me on a quest to define what exactly makes me unique as a writer. And clarifying who or what I am, say the promo gurus, is essential to the success of my book promotion.
My legacy should be something that promotes what I love. Aside from sports, romance, and family, the great passions of my life have been reading, writing, learning, thinking, and teaching. For my legacy to promote the love of reading, learning, and thinking, I can attempt to write books at once fascinating and thoughtful that also contain stuff worth learning about, such as history. And, rather than be egocentric and miserly, I can offer a resource to help people discover other fascinating, thoughtful books they can learn from.
I’ll sign off here and get to work recommending. I have done quite a lot of reviews for magazines and newspapers. But I’ll turn to recommending rather than reviewing. Since a recommendation is akin to a guarantee, should you read one of my recommendations and disagree with my assessment, feel free to send me a bill for what the book cost you. I’m not likely to pay up, but you never know.