A project of Tim Grahl

YOUR FIRST 1000 COPIES: the step-by-step guide to marketing your book by Tim Grahl

Empathy

An excerpt from Your First 1000 Copies:


Empathy is “the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another.”¹ The most important part of that definition is the end: “of another.” As an author, if you’re not attuned to the needs and wants of your reader, and if you aren’t working hard to deliver content that matches those feelings, then you’re missing the mark. So, before you send that email or make that phone call pitching your book, article or blog post, take a deep breath and ask these questions:

  • What does she want out of life?
  • What stresses her out?
  • What could I do to make her life easier?
  • What is her daily job? Could I make that easier in some way?
  • Ultimately, how can I help her get what she wants out of life?

You’ve likely heard of the golden rule: treat people how you want to be treated. That’s the essence of empathy, which the car salesman from the earlier story completely forgot. He was trying to get me to buy the latest model of his minivan, a result that was not aligned to my best interest.

That’s why he failed to leave a positive impression, and why I’ll never interact with him again.

This mismatching of attitude and best interest is where I see so many authors make fundamental mistakes, especially at the beginning of their careers. Many are so desperate to sell books that they become completely focused on themselves. Thus, when they start to work with other people, they think only of their own goals. This attitude isn’t appreciated and is very isolating. So always approach outreach opportunities by first putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Then look for ways where you can overlap your interests with theirs, thereby creating a win-win situation that everyone can enjoy.

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1. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/empathy

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