I did pick up a few tips and once I'd got my head round the idea that the speaker was talking more about what I'd call sales, I was happy to listen in to learn what I should really be doing to sell my books - getting an email newsletter together.
I won't be doing that, though, for a simple reason. Sales is not the prime objective of my marketing. And it's for this reason that I found the tenor of the talk slightly depressing:
There are no new ideas in marketing
All marketing is a numbers game
Just copy from those who are doing it well/properly
This flavour of marketing is something I've touched on before, in relation to creativity. Here, and here. The idea that with a mix of templates, frameworks, tools and algorithms, you can create by formula. And I've discovered a myriad of websites that can churn out content to promote your book, from Canva to BookBrush. And yes, I probably will give them a go, and stick it on Instagram to see what happens. Although I'm not sales-driven, I'm never going to say no if someone wants to buy my books. Of course not.
I am sure I could find a antique-looking map background and possibly some representation of a scorpion and create a nice little promo for my book. But I fear it would get lost amongst all the samey coffee cups, socks, flowers in vases and shabby-chic backgrounds that one sees in book promotion.
The map would not be the genuine article of the place that inspired the book, from the early 1960s, still encrusted with a hint of desert sand.
And the scorpion wouldn't be a fluffy one.
The thing is, there's more to marketing than numbers.
There is magic, mystery, creativity, novelty, authenticity, surprise.
And none of these things are available via a template.