While writing a novel may be a solitary venture, marketing the book is anything but. If you want to boost sales beyond friends and family members, you need to get out there and sell your self-published book and yourself to potential readers. Often, writers find that “selling themselves” is harder than the actual act of writing. And if you’re an introvert (like so many writers), you may feel you’re being overly annoying and bothersome when you pitch your novel to strangers. At Self-Publishing Relief, we’ve developed a list of tips and tricks to help you reframe the way you view literary marketing and overcome your fear of being a social boor.
5 Steps To Selling Your Self-Published Book Without Being Pushy
Understand why you’re feeling uncomfortable. If you strongly dislike the idea of marketing yourself, the first step is to determine where this aversion comes from. Is it a matter of self-doubt? Is your inner critic whispering, My work isn’t good enough; no one will want to read my book? Don’t listen to that voice! Here are a few ways to overcome self-doubt.
If the discomfort is less about your writing skills and more about the act of self-promotion, you’re in good company. Many authors are intimidated by the idea of talking in front of groups or to people they don’t know. If this sounds like you, then the following steps may help you get a handle on how to go about tackling the task!
Make a plan. Outlining a strategy will help remove any uncertainty about how you will proceed. Are you going to post updates on your social media platforms? Discuss your book on forums or a personal blog? Set up a booth at a literary conference? Choose activities you know you will be able to accomplish. This can vary from person to person, so make sure you consider what you feel comfortable doing before coming up with your plan of action.
Study what other writers do and how readers react. A good way to get started is to look at your favorite authors and learn through their example. What have they done to promote their work, and how can you go about emulating the same thing in a way that’s right for you? It’s also possible to learn what not to do by noticing what their fans didn’t like or reacted to negatively. Doing this preliminary research will help you lay the groundwork for your own marketing strategy. Here are five great steps to market and sell books.
Realize marketing is a vital part of a writer’s success. Self-marketing might not always be fun—and there may be times when you make mistakes—but staying silent and avoiding sales situations won’t put your book into the hands of potential buyers. In the world of publishing, talking yourself up is not only recommended; it’s critical. And remember, there are many ways you can self-promote and still be humble.
Just be careful not to go overboard in your attempt to reach out to your audience. No one wants to be bombarded with Facebook posts or tweets that scream Buy my book! Buy my book! Find a happy medium: Intersperse social media posts about your book for sale with other informative, interesting posts and tweets that aren’t sales pitches. Be accessible during book readings or events, but don’t chase people down the hallways or corner them in elevators.
Hire someone to market for you. For some writers, the very thought of self-marketing will drench them in a cold sweat—and no amount of self-examination or preparation will conquer their fears. The good news is that you still have options. While it may be difficult for you to tout your own prowess, there are professionals out there who will be very good at singing your praises. Publicists can act as your own personal cheerleaders. But if you don’t have the funds to spend on publicity, consider enlisting the help of your more outgoing friends and family members who would be happy to help you spread the word about your book.
Also, be sure to check out our Marketing and Promotion Tool Kit For Writers.
Question: What tips do you have for selling a book to people you don’t know?