You poor, poor writers. You pour your heart and soul into your books. You create these magical worlds, these vibrant, three-dimensional characters, these intricate plots, these thrilling stories that culminate in a figurative or literal explosion of action and dialogue that leaves your readers breathless, weepy and ready to plunk down more dough for the next installment.
The truth? We’d rather not. We’d rather hide behind our computer screens and only have the kinds of relationships that require us to type words.
I’d like to think that there’s more to our nervousness about marketing that we don’t like it.
I’d like to suggest that there are real fears and anxieties here. And if that is the case, it’s going to take some doing to overcome them.
1. You’re not sure that you’re good.
A lack of confidence is normal. Every author goes through that. How To Overcome: Hire a professional editor. Join a critique group through Scribofile. Get a writing buddy on our Facebook group. Then, ask them for their honest feedback and then weigh what they say carefully. Improve where you need to but believe them when they say it’s good.
2. You have a creepy association with salesmen.
We all have creepy associations with salesmen. Salesmen have a bad rap. They’re known for being slimy, smarmy and untrustworthy. How To Overcome: Just because others are bad sellers doesn’t mean you have to be. Remind yourself that your work is good, it’s worth buying and you have no ulterior motives. Be authentic with all your relationships and you’ll find selling to be easier.
3. You’ve seen the numbers and they’re not encouraging.
Millions and millions have books have been published in many different formats through many different types of publishers and platforms. It’s true that your little bitty book really isn’t much compared to them all. It’s enough to be very discouraged. How To Overcome: Have low expectations. Gain one reader at a time. Be content with small beginnings.
4. You’re a little bit embarrassed that you are asking for money to do something you love.
How To Overcome: Change your thinking. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being paid for your hard work. You deserve something of value in exchange for the hard work you’ve put into it. You have talent, you’ve shared it with the world, now receive your compensation. The world operates like this and generosity will certainly open doors for you, you should never apologize for finishing the end of the transaction. This TED video explained to me so beautifully the art of asking. Amanda Palmer made me happy to give up my fear of asking.
5. You have haters.
We all have haters. That’s the beauty and the problem with art: what’s beautiful to some is repulsive to others. What to do: Thicken your skin a little and make your art the best it can possibly be. Then read all of these accounts of writers who were rejected and lambasted in reviews. Then, go back and read the good things your real fans have to say. There are more people in the world who would agree with them. Wouldn’t it be fun to find them?
You are not the first author to freak about marketing. You certainly won’t be the last. But it is possible to conquer them and find opportunities (and readers!) Check out next Monday when I present five more reasons you hate marketing and what you can do about it!