Last Monday, I blogged about Five Reasons You May Hate Marketing And What You Can do About it. It’s a pity that it’s so difficult to find readers. It’s even more of a pity when the difficulty of the task shakes our confidence.
Sadly, if we are to have readers, we have to go find them, convince them that our stories are worth spending money on and do it in a somewhat civilized way.
Here are five more reasons you may hate marketing and what you can do about it.
1. You’ve failed before.
All of us have failed. We’ve failed from the first time we tried to walk or read or even say coherent sentences. Our failure shouldn’t define us, it should just make us more human. What to do: Make a list of all the ways in which you are successful (if you need help, ask someone close to you). Practice saying positive things to yourself. Try new strategies or approaches or take active steps to learn what you’re doing wrong that will make you more successful as you market.
2. You don’t want to be one of those pushy writers.
Some writers still haven’t got the message: hard sells get you nowhere. What to do: Don’t follow their example! Instead, build relationships, ask questions, engage with people in an authentic way so that they want to buy what you’re selling. You never, ever have to be a slimy salesman.
3. You’re not sure what you want.
What to do: Answer this: What does success look like to you? Is it thousands of books sold? Is it entertaining your friends and family? Think long and hard about what you want your sales goals to be and then take concrete steps to get there. Once you are on the path to your own desires, you may even find that marketing can be fun.
4. You’re not sure about the learning curve.
What to do: Have low expectations. Yup, it’s intimidating to think that once you write a book you still have to learn how to edit, publish, format, and design it. Then, once it’s available, you have to learn Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, Canva, Tumblr, Periscope, Snapchat or whatever social media platform people are telling you that you need to sell your book. Instead of freaking out about all of it, outsource what you can and only concentrate on one or two social media platforms that you’re the most comfortable with. And go slowly. There’s no rush. If this is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
5. You just don’t like people.
What to do: Fake it till you make it. One of the reasons why you’re holed up in your office with your coffee, cigarettes, holey sweater and numerous cats is because the world that you create on your own terms is a lot nicer than reality. But honestly? The best marketing you’re going to do is going to come out of relationships and connections. You’re going to have to put on your big writer panties, go out into the world, either IRL or online, introduce yourself and be nice. Even if it’s not sincere. Even if all you know to talk about is coffee, cigarettes, and cats. Do it. Everything about your life will be better with friends.
But please know that lots of writers have to buck up their courage to market their books. This fear of putting yourself out there is pretty common. Consider joining a writing group (like all the sweet folks at 10 Minute Novelists) where you can find encouragement, tips, and community. And they might just help you with your big issues.