Many writers are exhausted by book marketing — even those who haven’t released their book yet. Sometimes, simply the thought of where to begin can be enough to stop a writer from ever starting at all. What to do?
There are really three situations we find ourselves stuck in:
Does any of this sound familiar? It’s all pretty exhausting. I get it. Today I’m going to show you that it doesn’t have to be.
Nobody wants to be ‘wrong,’ especially when it comes to marketing our books (babies). There are so many options, and it’s honestly quite difficult to know what’s ‘best,’ with all the shiny calls to ‘do this and sell 10 million copies for the low, low price of $49.99!’ and such. As an author since 2010, I get it. I’ve fallen for those easy-button sales pitches myself.
I’m not here to tell you what works and what doesn’t (see my BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge or past posts for that). This section discusses ways to pull you out of the feedback loop of constantly analyzing and achieving no results.
Analysis is important. Don’t jump into book marketing blindly. Research the best options for your book, your brand, and your genre. Create a marketing plan. Set a budget. Have realistic goals. Then, make a decision and move forward. How? Some tips:
You have the answer. You are simply avoiding decision-making out of your fear of being wrong. Well, newsflash, you will be wrong. You will make mistakes. So what? It happens. Every mistake is a learning experience for your next book.
When you procrastinate, you are doing one thing and one thing only: avoiding pain. That pain can be fear, shame, or vulnerability. For many writers who have never published before, the most common is fear: what if people hate my book? What if the reviews are terrible? What if, what if, what if? Then you feel guilty and anxious and mad at yourself. It’s a self-defeating loop and it sucks.
When you procrastinate, your anxiety is speaking for you. It’s taking control of your life, wasting time you are constantly whining that you don’t have. Isn’t that the ultimate irony?
We are always saying we don’t have enough time to do what we need to do, yet procrastinating about doing what we need to do to market our books is wasting the time you need. What to do? Some tips:
We’ve all been overwhelmed — by life, by work, by family, whatever. What’s important to keep in mind here is why you feel overwhelmed. Are you overwhelmed by external circumstances or is it self-imposed? One you can’t control (e.g., the weather), the other you can.
With regard to our topic here, you absolutely can control how you feel by taking charge of your activities. Many authors try this or that, make some effort, and then quit (sound like you?), complaining that nothing is working. Stop rushing around and remember, publishing is a long game and being an author is a business. Many writers who feel overwhelmed tend to not have a plan in place; would you start a business without a business plan?
How can you prevent this from happening in the first place? Some tips:
Building your author platform, building relationships with readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers, and making your book the absolute best it can possibly be are not optional if you want to sell books. It is a lot of work, I won’t lie to you. But remember, you don’t have to do it all at once.
“I don’t wish for people to have all of their dreams come true. I wish them to be okay with the fact they won’t. If you go into the world not letting it stop you when things don’t go your way, then you’re unstoppable.”
~ Louis C.K.
For a more detailed plan on developing your book marketing, purchase Rachel’s new book,
The BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge now on Amazon!
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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. 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.