“I’m really uncomfortable with book promotion,” an author told me recently. “It’s just not who I am.”
“What makes you uncomfortable?” I asked.
“I don’t know . . . ” she began. “I think it’s all that waving your book around and telling people how great it is. I’d like my book to speak for itself, without me always getting in people’s faces.”
I reassured her that there are many, many authors who view marketing and promotion the same way. They don’t want to be constantly posting on social media, attending book fairs, or looking for opportunities to talk about their books before an audience.
They just want to write.
Who can blame them?
But in today’s in-one-ear, out-the-other world, all authors have to be willing to take on book promotion. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a six-figure advance or you’re self-published and proudly referring to yourself as an “indie author.” You need to let your target audience know about your book.
Why did you write your book?
But you can do it without feeling like a shameless self-promoter. All it takes is making a slight shift in how you view book promotion.
Right now, your perspective is that it’s all “look at me, look at me, look at me!” And that bothers you. (It bothers me, too.)
But here’s the reality: You wrote that book for a reason. What is it? Is it one of these? Did you write it to:
No matter why you wrote it, you want your book to do something for readers.
How will your book have an impact if nobody knows about it?
Will you be able to achieve your goals for your book if nobody reads it?
Will your book make a difference — whether you want to entertain or change minds — if people have never heard of it?
It’s pretty simple: Your book won’t do what you want it to do if people don’t know about it.
And people won’t know about it if you don’t tell them about it.
Ergo, informing your audience that your book is available to change their world is a public service. I repeat: Sharing information about your book is a public service for your audience.
When you think about it like that — when you realize you are providing a service to the people you wrote the book for — it all becomes easier. You become much less uncomfortable with book promotion.
Will you ever be all up in their faces chattering away about how totally fantastic and extra special your book is?
You will not.
But it will be easier for you to speak from the heart at a book event. Or do a radio interview about how you found the courage to tell your very personal story in a memoir. Or write a guest blog post about the extensive research you did to make your historical fiction set in World War II Europe as reality-based as possible.
No longer uncomfortable with book promotion
Your book won’t help, serve, or entertain anybody who’s never heard about it. So do two things now:
- Figure out who will love your book.
- Let them know about your book in a way that you’re comfortable with.
You will be doing readers in your target audience a favor when you let them know how your book will contribute to their lives.
Provide a public service: Let people know about your book.
Need help figuring out your target reader? Watch my one-hour video training program, “Who Will Buy Your Book? How to Figure Out and Find Your Target Audience.” It takes the mystery out of the process for you.
How do you get over your discomfort with promoting your book? Please share your best tip in a comment!
Tip of the Month
Have you created your author profile on Hometown Reads?
The site is dedicated to helping local authors around the U.S. connect with readers in their hometown through the Read Local movement. The Hometown Reads site organizes authors by local community, which helps authors both network with other nearby writers and get more exposure with local readers.
Just two years old, the site has launched programs in more than 100 communities. Is your city on the list (scroll down on that page)?
Sign up today to take advantage of all this program can offer you with libraries, bookstores, and other authors in your region.
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