If you thought that writing the book was the hard part, then you were dead wrong. Every writer pours time, effort and a little of his or her soul into each creation, regardless of its genre or purpose. However, the hard part really starts after the writing is finished. Now you have to promote the book. If you’re like most writers, then there’s nothing more terrifying than putting the words “my” and “book” together in any context.
“My book is done, want to check it out?” “My book talks about these issues! You should buy it.” “You’ll love the characters in my book.” It’s hard to promote yourself because you don’t want people to look at you as arrogant or as a know-it-all, so how do you promote your book without feeling shame?
Public Service Announcement
One of the best ways to change your thoughts on self-promotion is to consider it a public service announcement. Think about it. You wrote your book for some reason. You wrote it to entertain, educate or inform people about something. It doesn’t matter if it’s as lofty as changing the world, or just showing people a better way to tie their shoelaces. Nobody else is going to get the word out about your book, so it falls on you to spread the message.
How is anyone going to buy your book if you don’t talk about it? Just remember to stand behind the purpose of your book while telling people about it.
You have to get comfortable with drawing attention to yourself. It doesn’t matter how you say it; when someone learns that you wrote a book, they are going to react. They might be excited that you were smart and dedicated enough to complete a whole book, or they might be jealous that you think you’re smarter than them. It’s hard to say what will happen once you tell people that you wrote a book, but you have to get used to the attention.
This is hard for many writers because most like to stay behind their computers and let the work speak for itself. The work can speak for itself once you have a fanbase of dedicated readers. Right now, you’re the champion of your manuscript. If you don’t get comfortable with drawing attention to yourself, then you can’t expect to make many sales.
While it’s best to market your book both online and offline, it might be too hard to do the offline route right now. That’s perfectly OK. You should transition at some point and get out of your comfort zone, but you can always start online to get yourself comfortable with self promotion. Making a few social media posts and blog articles about your book should be fairly easy. You don’t have to worry about people looking at you and expecting you to say more, and you have time to consider responses to anyone’s questions. Also, if anyone gets too nasty or abusive, you can always erase or ignore their messages.
However, don’t get comfortable with solely doing online marketing. It’s only so effective. If you want to go to workshops, talks and book sellers, then you need to transition to offline self promotion.
No Shame or Shameless?
What’s the difference between having no shame and being shameless when it comes to self-promotion? Having no shame means that your comfortable standing behind your book and talking about it when it’s relevant. You know that you have a good product, and you just want other people to give it a chance.
Shamless self-promotion is when you talk about the book regardless of the conversation’s context. For example: “Hey, I just quit smoking!” “That’s great, did you know that I wrote a book with a character who smokes?” You should also wait for the right moment to talk about your book. Don’t just talk about it without any reason or context. That just makes you look desperate.
Also, it’s important to not stretch the truth. If someone really doesn’t seem interested in your book, then don’t lie about it or keep pushing them. Know when to give it up. At the same time, stand by your book and give it the fighting chance that it needs to survive.
There’s nothing wrong with talking about your book. The truth is that many people might like it, but they have to know about it before they will buy it. Be the champion of your book, and you’ll have a much better chance of promoting yourself as an author, along with all of your products. If you don’t, then you’ll have a hard time making any sales.
Filed under: self-publishing
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