Capsulize and Publicize

You self-publish a new book and in order to sell copies people have to know about your work. They have to. That’s a “no-brainer,” right?

“But I am not a smarmy salesman,” you say. I hear you. In my 40 years of working with creative people, I can verify this paradox: the very person who needs to sell the work, the writer, is the least-equipped person to do it, and resists doing so from the very core of their being. Believe me. I feel your pain.

But I propose that there is a very accessible zone of due diligence that falls way short of being sleazy, yet falls right into the hands of the writer turned self-publisher, and here it is:

1. Capsulize. Succinctly summarize the key information about your book and post it on your web page, with a link to where it can be purchased.  This posting on your website becomes the anchor for everything else you will do going forward.

Here is an example of a capsulization:

“As writers of fiction, we have godlike power to create worlds and populate them with beings. It’s a delicious feeling when we’ve done it successfully. Successfully, of course, is the key word. We have to know our characters’ desires, fears, beliefs, and motivations – the deep traits that persuade readers to follow imaginary people as if they were real flesh and blood. Since a believable story depends not only on who your characters are but also why, this book is a study in motivation and how to use it to create plot. Make the imaginary come to life. Write Deep, Believable Characters.” Available now on

Now that your book has a home on the internet you are ready for the next simple step:

2. Publicize. Make one reasonable effort to draw attention to the link to your product. For instance, just post a sentence or two about your book, with the link and a picture of the book, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Done. You are now initiated to the world of promotion.

That simple act of sharing the link, can be repeated over and over, and in multiple forms: book signings, speaking engagements, blog tour, more postings, etc. Whatever you do and wherever you are, you share the link. Easy-peasy.

This capsulize and publicize formula works for music and video projects, too.

In a future post, I’ll show you a simple thing you can do to leverage your capsulized post for greater visibility.





Data is Overrated

steeringwheelDriving your business with data alone is an adventure in missing the point. What was your gut telling you the day you decided to start your business? That intuitive, mission-driven dream will be way more accurate in reaching the “new world” than driving by the numbers. Vision has served humankind very well before the advent of the internet, it is serving us now (more than we realize), and it will be what leads us on to the future.

Can the data support your vision? Absolutely! Just don’t give it the wheel.


  • © 2016 Ralph Henley. All rights reserved.
  • photo courtesy