Although most writers are well aware that they struggle with a fear of failure, many writers don’t realize that they also harbor a fear of success. For a lot of writers, the thought of being a successful writer carries with it the assumption that they will have to promote themselves and their work in ways that make them uncomfortable.
This is understandable, because marketing can be scary. When you put yourself—or your work—out there in the world, you may experience rejection or negative comments, or you may just feel more exposed than you ever have before. This is why the thought of marketing makes most writers cringe.
The choices around publishing these days are probably some of the toughest choices a writer has to make. We’re all familiar with the first big choice between going the traditional publishing route or deciding to self-publish. However, even after that choice is made, many other choices follow.
One of the biggest roadblocks to writers deciding to self-publish is the sheer amount of information and options that are out there in regards to self-publishing nowadays. There are many different companies that make a lot of promises to help writers self-publish, and there are also many different ways do everything entirely on your own. This is usually where writers get stuck. It’s like trying to pick one good movie out of the bazillion options available on Netflix. At some point, your brain goes into overload and shuts down, and then you just want to forget the whole thing.
Writers and artists are notorious for being horrible salesmen, and many of them take a certain sort of secret pride in this fact. Even though it’s uncomfortable, being a “starving artist” can feel noble to creative types, and it also seems to prevent against the evil of “selling out,” something else which many writers and artists fear.
On the other hand, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients who come to me and say, “I’m so passionate about my creative work. Why can’t I make any money from it? What am I doing wrong?”
The problem is the emotional baggage that most writers and artists have around the selling process. We do tend to see the act of selling as something negative. However, the selling process itself is neutral. It’s the energy we bring to the selling process that determines whether it becomes positive or negative.
Marketing is something that can be challenging for every author. There are so many different options, and so many different opinions on what you “should” be doing for success, that it can get quite confusing. Fortunately, the secret to great marketing is not to master everything, but rather to focus strongly on a few key things.
Below is my list of the 5 best things to focus on for book marketing if you are an indie author:
We’ve all heard the advice that building your social media platform as a writer is super important, and we all know that we’re supposed to have a strong presence on social media if we ever want to catch the eye of new readers. This holds true whether we’ve decided on independent publishing, traditional publishing, or we’re still researching publishing options. The moment you start looking around online at what you’re supposed to be doing as a writer who is serious about launching their books into the world, pretty much the first thing you see is: Start building your social media platform now.
This is good advice, but it also falls short of what most writers need. Outside of cultivating a “strong” presence on social media, what else do writers need to consider when building that presence? Here are 3 things that I’d wish I had known when I was just starting out, and that I also believe most writers overlook when building their social media platform.