5 No Good Reasons Authors Resist Marketing By Guest @SmartAuthors

If I said ‘book marketing’, what would be the first thought to pop into your head?

  • I love it, give me more, I can’t get enough!
  • Ugh.
  • It’s a necessary evil.

I have to admit, I don’t come across many authors who say they love it. Even the ones who accept it as part of the job and commit to it fully, don’t tend to love it.

Why is that?

I know it’s possible to be a writer who loves marketing and it’s simply not true that the natural traits of a writer and a marketer aren’t compatible – I’m living proof. {Rachel’s note: same here!}

Let’s tackle some of the reasons why you may be resisting marketing and dispel some myths, so you can finally embrace book promotion.


  • 1It’s Too Time-Consuming

Many authors resent the time marketing takes but if your marketing is focused and drives book sales, what is there to be unhappy about? The problem for many is that their marketing isn’t focused and they have no idea what’s working and what isn’t. Or worse, nothing is working. In that case, you need to look at the marketing you’re doing.

Marketing is only a waste of time when it’s not resulting in either book sales, brand awareness or platform growth. If your marketing is taking up time but not working for you, don’t waste another second resenting the time it takes, instead, invest time in improving your strategy.

When marketing is focused and effective, it doesn’t need to take hours and hours of your time. If it isn’t working, however, it won’t do any good to simply spend more time doing more of what doesn’t work. Do less, but do it better.

  • 2I Don’t Know What to Do

This follows right on from above. If you don’t know what to do, you’ll likely do one of two things:

  • Spend masses of time hopping from one activity to another, wearing yourself out and ending up resentful of all the time you have spent achieving absolutely nothing.
  • Or, you don’t do anything, not knowing where to begin.

Obviously, neither of these approaches is going to do you any good or shift many books.

Take some time out from doing, and start learning. There is no end of resources out there, so start reading, listening and/or watching. If you have just published your first book, don’t worry so much about pushing sales; instead, use that book as a way to start building a platform, which you can use to support your next book launch.

  • 3I Hate Self-Promotion

Ah yes, the icky, salesy feeling. No one wants to be pushy, or inflict their book on someone who has no interest in it. But, when did anyone say that’s what you have to do to sell books? Why does this idea that book marketing requires some unethical, underhand, sleazy sales tactics still persist?

Of course, it can be challenging to get your books noticed, but successful promotion isn’t a case of shouting louder than everyone else. Instead, find a method of outreach that works for you, that allows you to reach your target audience in a way that you feel comfortable with and can sustain.

For example, blogging, vlogging or podcasting, either on your own platform or someone else’s. By doing this you can build a relationship with your target readers, without feeling pushy.

6 No Good Reasons Authors Resist Marketing by @smartauthors via @badredheadmedia #marketing

  • 4It’s Too Expensive

The cost of book marketing really can be what you choose it to be. If you have paid for an editor, or possibly more than one, a cover designer and perhaps outsourced formatting and conversion, you may feel you want to cut corners on marketing. But I would suggest that if you have made all those investments in your book’s creation, you want to also invest in marketing to ensure a good return.

That said, just as it’s possible to produce a decent book on a budget, you can market one on a shoestring too. In fact, I far prefer the free methods as they are often more effective. For example, be a guest on 10 relevant podcasts (e.g., ones your target readers listen to) and you’ll likely gain more loyal fans than if you paid for a book promo.

You can always use promos and ads to boost any free promotion you’re doing, but paid promotion should never be your sole focus, even if you have the budget.

  • 5I Would Rather Be Writing

Sure, so would any writer. You didn’t become a writer because you wanted to spend half your time marketing, but let’s be honest, no job is perfect. No matter what you do in life, there will be some things you enjoy more. As an independent author, you are running a business, and as any business owner will tell you, regardless of their industry, there are bits they don’t like so much.

If you don’t do those bits, things will fall apart pretty fast. If you want to keep writing, to make money from your books, you need to market them.

  • 6I’m Not Sure My Book Is Good Enough

Okay, here’s a bonus: I’ve left this one to last because I have a feeling you may resist it. If I’d put it up front you may never have reached the end of my post!

The truth is, as writers we can be incredibly self-critical and sometimes we lose confidence in ourselves and our writing. Putting our work out into the world can be terrifying, as it leaves us entirely exposed. This vulnerability can prevent us from promoting our work – we find ourselves with one foot on the gas and one on the brake.

We want to write, we want our books to be read, we want to be successful. But what if we aren’t? What if no one likes what we wrote? What if, what if, what if? This is the biggest barrier to book promotion, especially if we can’t admit it to ourselves.

This is the toughest one for me to write a quick tip to overcome; it’s not something that can be fixed with a sentence or two. If you suspect this may be what’s stopping you from effectively marketing your books, take steps to address it.

Final Thoughts

You may need to do some inner work to build your confidence and resilience. You should also use beta readers that you don’t know personally (not friends and family) to get a feel for how your writing is appreciated; this is especially important if you don’t use an editor {Rachel’s note: use an editor – always!}.

Knowing that someone other than you, particularly someone who doesn’t love you, has read your book and ‘gets it’ before you put it out into the world for anyone to read, can make the whole process much easier.


It’s important to have faith in your book as you set out to promote it; as any marketer can tell you, it’s so much easier to market a product you believe in.

Belinda Griffin…

…helps authors sell more books, so they can make much greater income and the impact they deserve.

As the founder of SmartAuthorsLab and a certified Book Launch Coach with Tim Grahl, Belinda helps authors build their all-important platform to form authentic relationships with their readers and also plans and coordinates effective book launch campaigns to help authors get their books into the hands of more readers.

5 Book Marketing Myths To Explode Right Now

Whether you are launching a book to support your business or are a self-published fiction author wondering how to stand out from the competition, Belinda can help. Grab your FREE guide: How to get your book noticed with fantastic results! & follow Belinda on Twitter @SmartAuthors.


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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  1. […] Lite has the ultimate book marketing timeline for indie authors (part 1), Belinda Griffin debunks 5 no good reasons authors resist marketing, and Frances Caballo lists 22 book marketing […]

  2. Jeff Stookey on March 11, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Good advice. I find that remembering why I wrote the book in the first place is a good boost for working to get my message, my writing, and my thoughts out there where the public can share them.

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