While I primarily write for authors, this article can really apply to anyone, because I see this daily from people and sometimes, if I’m truly honest with myself, I have to kick my own ass. We all have opportunities daily to achieve some kind of goals, whether it’s running that extra mile, eating less, writing more, but, for whatever reason, we don’t. We’re tired, emotionally, physically, mentally. Life is hard, man.
I get it. We say yes to too many damn things.
This article is not about saying no (though sometimes, that’s a great option when you’re feeling overwhelmed), but about how to take that negative self-talk that is stopping you from creating the opportunities to sell books, connect with readers, market your work, your business, whatever it is that you do.
I don’t personally find a lot of motivation in self-help books, daily quotes, and all that generic stuff. I look for something deeper and more meaningful, that’s still action-oriented. If I can’t implement it right then and there, forgetaboutit.
This is what I do to motivate myself.
Raise your hand if you have said this:
as to why you can’t:
Well, newsflash: none of us has the time, so you have to change your paradigm. Somehow, some way, you have to make this bookselling, book marketing gig a priority if writing and being a professional author is your goal. So, change your thinking.
No need to fight with yourself or come up with further excuses (i.e., yea, sure but I can’t afford not to work, etc… we’ll cover that below). Just answer the questions! The point of this exercise is to assess your commitment to not only writing, but to the business of writing. These are two very different animals. You can sit at your computer and pump out book after book after book, which will sit in a nice, neat little pile for time immemorial, or you can learn the business of selling and marketing your work correctly (hello, this does not mean spamming “buy my book!” links on social media).
Besides, you’re talking about how you don’t have the time to market on Facebook. What’s that about?
If you have time to complain on Facebook that you don’t have the time to market your book, you have the time.
Many of us are on a limited income (as a single mom, I understand this concept), however, as an entrepreneur, I’m also able to not place limits on myself as well. I look at my parents, in their seventies, who are still figuring out ways to earn. That drive to work hard fires me every day. I’ve worked since I was fourteen and I’m not stopping anytime soon. Plus, I absolutely love what I do! Writing, book marketing, helping others. Come on!
“I can’t afford it,” is simply another excuse, and while I realize that to some it’s not an excuse (it’s their real life), please bear with me.
Most of the suggestions I offered in the Free 30-day Book Marketing Challenge were free — some offered very low-cost paid options (i.e., for Hootsuite, Buffer, ManageFlitter) that cost maybe $8-$12/month. Blogging is free. Social media is free. Researching opps to market your work is free.
It’s an excuse to write off so many free book marketing opportunities to “I can’t afford it” when you can, but you are choosing (because yes, it is a choice) not to because you’ve told yourself you have zero budget and ‘everything costs money,’ when that’s simply not true. Sure, there are plenty of spendy opps, and those are not right for you at this time; that doesn’t mean you can’t do any book advertising or book marketing. It only means you need to get more creative and do more research.
Are you taking advantage of opportunities already afforded you? Are you part of groups who will support you? Websites that need updating? Blog and guest blogs that are just waiting for you to send them a post? People generally want to help — just remember to acknowledge them. Remember your etiquette when asking for help.
If you take the time to peruse my site, you’ll find many free tools to help you market your work or business; you can also sign up now for my newsletter to beta read the 30-day Challenge Book or help me out and purchase a low-priced copy when I release it in May.
Oh my, I hear this one a lot. In my post on adult learners, I get more into this topic, but mainly what’s driving you here: fear. Good, old-fashioned, ‘I’m afraid I will fail so I won’t even try’ fear.
Sadly, I see this all the time. I work with a number of authors who shall remain nameless who got the publishing contract! Created a gorgeous, amazing book! And….that’s it. They realize they need to book market, and in many cases, have a talented book manager who is helping them — yet, they still do nothing. Or they whine, “I can’t do it. It’s too hard” and so they don’t.
It’s easier to do nothing than to do well, anything, right?
I have a hard time wrapping my head around this one — it’s just not in my nature. I often become frustrated with authors like this. It took me talking with one of these authors to really understand her roadblock: she’s terrified of failing, of looking the fool to family and friends. When I talked with other authors who are in similar situations, if it’s not the time and money thing, it’s also fear.
It’s like we tell our kids (if you have them or teach them): you can do it, you’re choosing not to.
The best way to learn a new skill is to practice it. Do it. So get over yourself already.
Bottom line: Get out of your own way and as I always say, do the work. More, next week.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published by Shadow Teams NYC and represented by Lisa Hagan Books. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.