Authors everywhere seem to be afraid of self-promotion. The problem is that promotion and marketing are essential for you to ever hope to earn a full-time income as an author. Without excellent marketing and promotion, your chances of becoming a bestselling author and living the lifestyle of your dreams are very slim!
Mastering the tact, discipline and skills of promotion and marketing are crucial to your success. So in this post, I’m going to help bust the most common negative thoughts and beliefs most authors have about promoting their books.
1. I can’t promote myself because people will think I’m pushy.
Self-promotion and being pushy are two entirely different things. Someone who’s good at being pushy tries to get you to do things you don’t want to do. Someone who’s really good at promotion gets you to become interested and excited about something new. You end up taking action like buying a book because you want to.
No one wants to be pushy and annoying. I know! But promotion and marketing have absolutely nothing to do with being pushy. When you’re a great marketer, people will love what you say and how you say it. When you’re pushy, people are annoyed by what you say and how you say it. The problem is, there are so many really bad marketers out there that people confuse marketing and promotion with being pushy.
Here’s how to promote yourself without being pushy:
Tell people what you do briefly
Don’t wax on for 15 minutes about the storyline of your novel. NO ONE CARES! (It’s sad, but often true). Just briefly let people know you wrote a book and what it’s about.
Here’s how to reply when someone asks “What do you do?” and/or share about yourself and your book.
“I’m an author and I wrote a book called The Kindle Publishing Bible that teaches authors how to earn a full-time income by self-publishing Kindle books.”
“My name is Tom Corson-Knowles, and I’m the author of 21 books. I wrote The Kindle Publishing Bible which is the ultimate resource for any author or writer who wants to earn a full-time income. In the book, I share my secrets for getting thousands of new readers using advanced Search Engine Optimization strategies for both Amazon search and Google search. I also share some incredible results from the publisher Emmanuel Haldemann-Julius who sold hundreds of millions of books in the early 1900’s. You see, Emmanuel who did some really cool tests comparing book Titles and sales results. He noticed that some books sold incredibly well while others didn’t sell much, if any copies at all. When his books weren’t selling well, he would change the book titles and see if they sold better. The results from his little tests are quite enlightening for authors and publishers alike. And the principles you can learn from his studies can be applied to book titles today and help authors sell a lot more books…”
Sheesh! Trust me, I got bored writing that last one. Not because it’s not interesting, wonderful stuff, but because who cares?! No one needs that much information unless they ask. If they’re interested in learning more, they’ll ask you questions and you can share more.
If they’re not interested in learning more, then move on to a different topic. Self-promotion is about promoting you and not just your books! It’s not a very good promotional strategy to bore the hell out of people. Unfortunately, that’s the strategy many authors use because they don’t know a better way.
2. If I promote myself too much, my friends and family won’t like me.
If your family and friends don’t like you because you tell them briefly about your book, then they’re probably really shitty family and/or friends.
If you follow the advice above and simply tell them about it without waxing on forever, anyone who’s really important to you will appreciate it. If they don’t, then trust me – they’re not that important.
3. I shouldn’t have to promote myself, that’s my publisher’s job.
There’s a good reason it’s called self-promotion. That’s because it’s something you have to do yourself! Of course, your publisher should be marketing and promoting you and your books. But there’s a limit to what a publisher can do.
The self-promotion an author does connecting to new and existing readers can’t be replaced by anyone else – not even your publisher! Readers want to connect with authors – and the only way they can do that is if you are promoting yourself and communicating with your readers.
The same goes for building relationships with the media, journalists, interviews, book signings and other events where the author has to be present. Can you imagine some representative from Scholastic Press going on the Oprah show and talking about Harry Potter? Of course not! No one wants to connect with the publisher; they want to connect with the author – with you!
4. I’m no good at promoting, I’m just a writer!
Promoting is a learned skill just like writing!
And just because you’re good at writing doesn’t mean you always have to be poor at promoting. You can learn how to become a better promoter. You can learn how to become a better marketer. And the best way to learn is by studying and practicing! So the more you promote yourself, the better you will become.
You can start with social media marketing like creating a Facebook Fan Page, Twitter Account or Google+ page, speaking in your community, contacting top Amazon reviewers or journalists. Whatever feels easy to do right now, start there and keep growing. That’s how success is created – one step at a time.