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Welcome to Season 3 of The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson, where we give you information that you can immediately implement to increase your influence and market your books more successfully. 

This episode is about the power of storytelling for marketing your books. Becky is joined by Steven James–Critically Acclaimed Novelist, Storyteller, and Fiction Instructor–who reflects on his author journey, his experience marketing books, what makes stories so powerful, and the transformational effect they can have on readers and listeners. He even shares some of his favorite stories. 

Key Points From This Episode

[02:59] Steven reveals how many stories he writes each year and how he spaces out his work.

[03:18] Discover the title of Steven’s next book, in addition to the other projects he is working on.

[03:57] What’s so powerful about telling stories? Steven shares. 

[05:49] Steven reveals what it takes to have a good story.

[10:00] Steven gives a brief, but impactful, example of a good story. 

[13:27] What is a signature story? Steven reflects on the concept and shares a story from his own life.

[20:59] Steven explains what his journey with marketing has been like over the years. 

[26:17] Discover some of the successes and struggles of Steven’s marketing journey.

[26:17] Steven reveals how many of his books are published by traditional publishers vs. self-published. 

Action Steps:

  1. Think about a story that you regularly tell in your writing or your speaking. Run it through the six elements of a story: character, setting, struggle, pursuit, pivot, and payoff. 
  2. See if there’s a way that you can adapt your story to be more powerful for your listeners. Think about how you can use the same story over and over in different ways and for different audiences. 


Tweetables and quotes:

If you choose to share on Twitter, don’t forget to tag @beckyrbnsn and @readstevenjames so they know you enjoyed this episode!

Stories need two additional factors to really be impactful: The Pivot and The Payoff. —Steven James  

We don’t identify with characters in stories who have the answers. We identify with characters in stories who have the struggles. —Steven James

My experience has been that sometimes the marketers I’ve worked with–the firms–try to put me into a box that’s easy to package and sell. But my stories don’t always fit that way. —Steven James

I would say to anyone who has a book to sell: Make sure that it’s really the best that you have. —Steven James

I want to be able to look someone in the eye and say, “Yes, my book is worth your time.” —Steven James

If you found value in today’s episode, we hope you’ll take a moment to share it with someone else who might benefit from it. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, please email Becky Robinson here.

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