Using Zoom to Promote Your Book(s) and Writing Service! – by Harvey Randall, Esq.

Using Zoom to Promote Your Book(s) and Writing Service! – by Harvey Randall, Esq.

In 1964, film writer, director, and producer Stanley Kubrick formed a film company in England to produce a satire about the political differences between the United States and the Soviet Union. He named it “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Were Kubrick alive today, and  motivated to produce a similar film, he might well title it “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love COVID-19.”

COVID-19 has had a significant, if thus far negative, impact on employment in general in the United States and elsewhere. Many believe that it will result in a new mode of commerce, one founded on reliance on electronic communication between individuals rather than working and meeting in traditional brick and mortar settings. While many writers and authors are accustomed to working from home, we have all become even more sheltered than usual.

In an article written by David Streifeld, published by the New York Times Service, he states, “Three months after the coronavirus pandemic shut down offices, corporate America has concluded that working from home is working out. Many employees will be tethered to ZOOM and Slack for the rest of their careers, their commute accomplished in seconds.”

While meeting with clients and potential book buyers may have ceased for now, and may not resume for some time, you need only tweak your operations a bit to become profitable post-COVID-19.

Have you noticed how ZOOM has taken off? No pun intended. Fewer and fewer face-to-face meetings between writers and publishers are being scheduled, book clubs are holding ZOOM meetings to discuss the latest titles on the market, other organizations are holding business meeting electronically, and distance learning is coming of age at colleges and universities.

In contrast, authors are rarely finding opportunities to meet the public at bookstore events during these pandemic times. And, freelance writers can’t pound the pavement seeking new local clients.

So, it’s time to consider making lemonade out of those Covid-19 lemons, and recreate your market plan to meet today’s challenges.

Consider, for example:

Hosting ZOOM events (book readings, online Q&A’s, and any other way you would normally do public speaking in-person)

Schedule electronic meeting with groups, local and distant, through libraries and schools.

Arrange Zoom face-to-face online get-togethers with book clubs.

Pitch your services or book to service organization members who may be interested in learning of, and purchasing, your latest book or your writing services.

Don’t forget to promote your Zoom availability on your website and newsletter, in LinkedIn, and your social media accounts.

With the stressing of social distancing to help control exposure to COVID-19, offering to provide an organization or group with an opportunity to give its membership a viable interactive experience with you may prove productive…and profitable!

Newspapers may be helpful in identifying potential groups to contact to offer your electronic “meet the author” event. Which organizations in your area met in-person before Covid-19 interrupted our lives? They will likely appreciate being nudged in the direction of Zoom meetings. You can find the contact information for the people running those organizations on their websites.

Be prepared to hear, “Oh, we can’t do that” by a group leader with whom you are discussing providing a ZOOM presentation. If you ask “why not,” nine out of ten times the reply will be “Well, we never did that before.” Be prepared to explain to them how your Zoom presentation, and future ones they may consider having, will benefit all of their members during these trying times, and beyond.

Freelancing is all over the news right now as more people are being forced to work from home. Don’t overlook the opportunity to submit an article to local media about how you are coping with COVID-19 as an author or freelance writer. Doing so may trigger an invitation to be interviewed. The idea is to obtain publicity and exposure that may generate interest in your books or your writing services.

Writers rely on their knowledge, skill, and ability in creating their work product. Why not use some of those talents to develop a new business model that will be successful now AND post-COVID-19?


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Harvey Randall formerly served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service. He also served as Director of Personnel for the State University of New York system and as Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. He has an MPA from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University and a J.D. from Albany Law School. Randall maintains a law blog of the same name focusing on New York Public Personnel Law.

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