Moxie: Nerve. Guts. Determination. Energy. Hard work. Chops. Experience. Know-how. Or, my favorite definition from Merriam-Webster: "Knowledge gained by actually doing or living through something."
Ahh, there we are. That's what I'm talking about. All of the above, but mostly that last one.
Sure, marketing takes skills. But skills are something you can acquire. And you acquire them in the most lasting way by jumping in and doing what needs to be done.
The talented woman in the photo is my client Nancy Grant—published author, photographer, birder, and marketer extraordinaire—during her just-ended, spectacular eleven-day book-signing marathon—ELEVEN DAYS—with her latest book, Binge Birding: Twenty Days With Binoculars, at the Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge sales area during The Biggest Week in American Birding. Folks, I have to tell you--that took moxie. And Nancy has it, and then some.
She had literally just finished a marathon of a different sort, pulling together all the details of her book—writing, editing, interior formatting, cover design, and uploading her book to Amazon.com—when she received notice that a vendor spot had opened up at the birding festival, a 300-mile drive from home. She had not planned to be there this year. She was exhausted from the final stretch of publishing her book. And she had not yet ordered any copies for resale.
And the festival was scheduled to start in one week.
Honestly, I don't think she hesitated for more than a second. Oh, she might have glanced over at her office assistants to say, "What do you think? Road trip?" before they ignored her and went back to their favorite feline pursuit: napping. Nancy got on the phone, reserved a table at the event, and called the cat-sitter. She didn't even know if Amazon could print enough copies and deliver them to her before she had to hit the road. But she took a leap of faith. Of determination. Of moxie.
And when the books arrived—just in time—she loaded them into her car, drove the 300 miles, and set up her table. For eleven days she met fellow birders and new faces, hiked new trails with her binoculars, and signed books. She camped out in a tent at a nearby state park in sometimes-torrential rain and 30mph winds, and she signed books. Every afternoon. While eating dinner in their establishment, she made friends with the owners of a local tavern, who quickly organized an event called "Bono Tavern Presents Booze & Birds with Author Nancy Grant." And she signed more books.
Writers, take heed: your book won't sell itself. And your publisher is not going to send you on an all-expenses-paid book tour. This is a writer who understands the current realities of publishing and marketing. Her experience with her three previous, traditionally published books taught her how to find, invent, and set up book-signing events and that no one was going to do it for her—or cover her expenses. She has learned, by doing it, what it takes to create a presence and a platform for yourself and connect with your target audience. And she has the energy, enthusiasm, and endurance to go the distance. Congratulations, Nancy, and here's to many more signings, speaking engagements, and sales!
To order your copies of Binge Birding: Twenty Days With Binoculars, please go to amazon.com.