When I ask authors, “what makes marketing so frightening?” most often the answer is a shrug of the shoulders followed by “I dunno…marketing makes me nervous.” However when I push the issue three reasons remain constant.
Top Three Reasons Authors Are Afraid of Marketing
* Fear of rejection
* Inability to prioritize
* Trying to eat the marketing elephant in one single bite
Many authors have a (justifiable) fear of rejection. The amount of energy it takes to see a book through to completion requires diligence and patience. However, authors must push through the fear of being rejected in order to reach out to readers. Every author on the face of this earth has experienced rejection. It is part of the author’s life. However, there is an explicable feeling of empowerment that comes by pushing through rejection.
Let’s role play for a moment. You (the author) tell me about your book during a conference. I listen politely, nodd, take a bookmark (Stress-free Marketing teaches you to bring them to conferences). I do not buy the book.
That mild sting of rejection hurts for only a moment. If you have exhibited confidence during our brief conversation I may be interested enough to go home and visit your website. I may want to learn more about you. I may buy your book online, or order it through your website.
However, I will not know that you, or your book, exists unless you introduce yourself. Fear of rejection absolutely must be defeated.
In order to reach readers you must prioritize your schedule.
I am a wife, and a mother of a teenager (who also has two demanding pets). I also still help Billy Albertson, the farmer in my first book, two days a week. Most-evenings I prepare a homecooked meal.
How is all this possible? Truthfully, sometimes it is a struggle. When I first became “serious” about my writing career prioritizing my life became crucial. I don’t watch Survivor, Glee, American Idol…just to name a few. Yesterday I spent ten hours emailing contacts for the release of Stress-free Marketing. The creative side of me wanted to write the next book. It lured me with the promise of excitement. The rational side of my brain whispered Renea, the only person telling the world about your book is you. If you don’t do the hard part up front, readers won’t know about this book. Market today…write tomorrow.
Listen to the rational side of your brain. Listen as your brain says: “You should get up off the couch and work on your marketing plan.” The rational side of your brain wants you to sell books. Listen. Ignore the side that says: “it’s too hard. I can do it tomorrow.” There’s nothing but trouble on that side of town.
Eating the Elephant
For the record there are two things on the face of this earth that I detest eating: crow, and elephant (not literally…you know what I mean).
It takes one bite at a time to eat what is placed on our plate.
Dear friends, don’t try to contact everyone on your list in one day. You will burn out…speedy quick. Instead, set aside a manageable amount of time two to three days a week and reach out to readers. A wonderful example of this concept is described in the book, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. (ask your librarian if they have a copy). I know what you’re thinking; I just shared that I spent ten hours in the marketing chair. That was because I have spent the majority of the week reading galley copy, writing the next book, searching for my wayward feral cat. Thursday arrived and I had invested zero minutes marketing a book that will be released in just a few days! (insert visual of me running around the house like my hair is on fire). Life will get in the way of selling books if you allow it. Finding balance between the two is paramount.
We’re all human. The point is to set a manageable goal and work toward completion. If you are about to release a book, you must do the marketing before the release.
For the yet-to-be-released author. Your assignment is to gather information. Review local newspapers and magazines for those who can write about your book release. Perhaps you should write a press release and approach the editor, or reporter about your work. Begin searching for people to review your book. Keep all contact information in a file you can easily access. For me, it’s an (old school) notebook; for others, electronic devices. Regardless, today is the day to search for people who can introduce you to readers.
As always, feel free to comment on this, or any blog.
Thank you for your time,