How Not To Promote A Book

Dan Sheehan, Veteran, AuthorSo, I’ve been doing a fair amount of research into the right way to promote an upcoming book.  Turns out that my strategy of neglecting to write blog posts in favor of focusing solely on the manuscript is recommended by no one.  Anywhere.  Ever.

As I am likely going to self-publish this second book, it falls squarely on my shoulders to promote and market it as well as to write it.  While those things can take place in sequence it is generally considered best to do them all at the same time.

To that end, I will begin sharing more information about my current project.  I’m about 2/3 of the way through the first draft, which is actually more like the fourth draft as I’ve edited significantly along the way.  Once I have some fully developed chapters I’ll post them here for any comments or suggestions.

This second book will be a self-help book for veterans.  I hate describing it like that because of all the negative connotations associated with “self-help” books, but if the shoe fits…  So, yes, it is a self-help book designed to help service-members and veterans understand, prepare for, and overcome the challenges of coming home from combat.

Where my first book, After Action, was narrowly focused on my personal experiences, this second book will examine the archetypal warrior journey.  It will show how our modern warrior pathway mirrors some, but not all, of this universal human experience.  It is in the return from combat where we deviate from the archetype and suffer predictably as a result.

But if we can translate the archetypal journey into terms that have meaning in our personal lives we can correct this deviation.  We have followed an archetypal pathway into combat and it served us well.  Now we need use it to lead us out.

That’s what my current project aims to accomplish.  It will explain the forgotten final phase of the warrior’s journey, identify the challenges hidden within this phase, and offer concrete suggestions for how to overcome them.

The Veterans Administration has its problems.  But even if all of them were rectified tomorrow it wouldn’t erase the challenges each individual warrior must face.  Coming home is not an easy or automatic process.  There are very real challenges that must be understood and overcome.  And the most important link in successfully navigating these challenges is the individual warrior her/himself.

I think our nation stands to benefit greatly from veterans who are well-adjusted, wizened by experience, and matured by reality.  But first they must fully come home.  Preparing our warriors–past, present, and future–for the challenges of coming home is the goal of my work.

I welcome any suggestions for how to best accomplish it.

S/F

Dan

6 thoughts on “How Not To Promote A Book

  1. Ken Pressley

    Dan,

    Great to see you are changing your strategy. With all the opportunity to get your word out about your work it will be a positive way.

    I saw a TV article with Darius Rucker and how one person heard their music as Hooty and the Blowfish. That person liked it and got his producer to get the band on his program. They played on a Friday program and that Monday they were a hit. He thanks David Letterman for hearing the music and giving them a break.

    This is just a story but it means that getting the word out through every media is another way to get noticed. Personally I would like Jimmy Fallon to notice your work.

    Good Luck

    Presto

    Reply
    1. Dan Sheehan Post author

      Thanks for the suggestion, Presto! I’m sure Jimmy Fallon will thank you as well when I start camping out on his doorstep trying to get an interview…

      Good to hear from you,
      Dan

      Reply
  2. Julie Black

    I have yet to read your first book due to my own personal reasons. It may be this book will help the “better halves” heal as well… or maybe there could a chapter for us in there too! 😉

    So very proud of you and your accomplishments, Dan!

    Happy Blogging!

    Julie (Lagoski) Black

    Reply
    1. Dan Sheehan Post author

      Great to hear from you, Julie. I hope that my writing can increase understanding and awareness of the challenges of coming home among veterans as well as their families. These conversations have to start somewhere. Hopefully I can provide that starting point and a common frame of reference.

      Best wishes to you and your family,
      Dan

      Reply
  3. Owen Coulman

    Dan,

    Great idea for the second book. BT and I were just talking about it on our ride yesterday. With the obvious value of a “been through what you’re going through” perspective, might it not be beneficial to try to get Marine Corps leadership (if you can find any who aren’t self-serving) to incorporate this into the re-integration training? The Marine Corps wastes lots of money on the post-deployment classes that they make everyone sit through and no one really pays attention to. I think this could be a more practical and personal approach that the young Marines could benefit from. Follow up with speaking engagements at safety stand downs and branch out from there. Just a thought. Didn’t realize you and Lena were in the area. We should catch up!

    S/F

    Oscar

    Reply
    1. Dan Sheehan Post author

      Great to hear from you, Oscar. That’s a great idea–I’d love to get into the speaking circuit among active duty units up at Pendleton. Once I have this second book up and operational then I’ll see if there is any interest among USMC leadership for me to come and speak.

      We should definitely catch up, although probably not on a bike. Don’t know if I can handle seeing you and BT in spandex…

      S/F brother,
      Shoe

      Reply

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