Sandra Byrd | A Burger and a Beer
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A Burger and a Beer

Today’s authors have more and varying demands placed on them than at any time in the past, but these new demands also present great opportunities to connect with our readers, the reason behind what we do. So many of those connections, though, actually become sales and marketing points. We can spin away several hours every day on social media, breezing through reviews, offering guest blogs, and acting as general boosters for our friends. At the end of the day, we might look at our word count and in the immortal words of the Wendy’s Hamburger spokeswoman, say…

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“Where’s the beef?”

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Even the best promoter, the most networked, tweeted, highly Klout-scored person in the world cannot make up for a Boca Burger of a book. (With apologies to my vegetarian friends, lovely daughter included.) There must be substance. And that substance is a book that readers do not want to put down. These kinds of books, handcrafted, take time to research and write. Time without social media distractions.

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One of the great brewing success stories of the last several decades is how Jim Koch took mass production beer brewing, made it handcrafted, and then sold it to the American people with a nod to our patriotism – Sam Adams.  Koch is a consummate marketer and knew just what hook would lead him into the hearts of the American people. And yet, in the end, this is what he’s concluded. “I am a big believer that people drink the quality of the beer. They don’t drink the marketing. They don’t drink the promotion. They drink the beer. I believe it is incumbent on us as brewers to continue to make world-class beers that are a pleasure to drink and create a variety of flavors and tastes.”

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It won’t matter what kind of amazing promo program Sam Adams has if the beer tastes like soap.

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Readers don’t really read social media posts for long.  In the writing world, those things might be nice, but they are ephemeral. Only the book can be the book, so it’s absolutely worth our while to dedicate time to handcraft it.