Getting “out there” and talking about the book can be downright painful for shy people or those who prefer to write, not talk. Then there are those who aren’t shy, but aren’t comfortable in situations that make them feel like they’re the center of attention. Still others are afraid they will be labeled as “shameless self-promoters.” Can you blame them? I’ve seen some who are beyond “shameless” – they’re downright undignified.
How do you overcome your reluctance to promote your book, regardless of your reason? Here are the “I can’t do this” excuses that I hear most often and how to get around them:
Problem: Pro-actively promoting my book makes me feel self-conscious. I don’t like calling attention to myself.
Solution: Flip your perspective. You’re not talking about or calling attention to yourself – you’re calling attention to your book. You wrote that book to educate, entertain, or inform a certain audience. You won’t be able to do that if they don’t know about it. You’re doing them a favor by doing as much as you can to help them see how your book will help. Shift your focus from yourself to the people who will benefit from reading your book and you’ll relax and maybe even enjoy that media interview.
Problem: I don’t like talking. I’d rather be writing.
Solution: Focus on the many promotional opportunities that don’t require voice-to-voice interviews or conversations:
- Do a “Twitter chat“
- Go on a virtual book tour
- Post information and updates on your Facebook page
- Write and share articles on article syndication sites
- Blog regularly – and be a guest blogger, too
- Send out tip sheets
- Ask to do media interviews by e-mail
Problem: I see what others do and it makes me uncomfortable.
Solution: Head in the opposite direction with your tactics. For example, did you receive a book announcement e-mail that you thought was too self-serving, overly-aggressive, or even pointless? Write yours in a way that’s classy, helpful, and informative. Maybe you don’t like how your author friend shares a purchase link to his book on the Facebook timeline of new friends as soon as they accept his friend requests. Create a fan page for your book and use it to share helpful information instead of advertising messages.
Problem: I don’t know where to start.
Solution: Start by making time to learn. I’m a big on starting with a plan, but before you can write one, you need to know more about your options. Start by writing down your goals for your book. Then educate yourself about book marketing, publicity, and promotion:
- Search online
- Subscribe to newsletters
- Read a book or two
- Take a course that will walk you through the process
With your research done, decide which tactics will help you reach your goals. Select one tactic or tool that seems like the best fit for your skills and personality, and research it to learn how to do it. When you’ve mastered and implemented it, select another.
Problem: I don’t have time.
Solution: Take the time you used to spend writing the book and reassign it to book promotion.
- Get up an hour early two days a week
- Focus on the book after the kids have gone to bed
- Skip lunch to make things happen.
It’s hard to promote a book when the related activities don’t come easily or intuitively, but doing something in your own way is much, much better than doing nothing. Give it a try – I’m cheering you on!
How do you feel about book promotion? Do you love it, hate it, feel ambivalent? Why?