Does the Idea of Book Marketing Make You Anxious?


One of the most intimidating responsibilities for authors is marketing. We think of it as a task solely for independent authors, but even traditionally published authors have at least some degree of responsibility for marketing. A big part of your pitch to publishers is demonstrating that you have an established audience. As an independent author, marketing falls squarely on your shoulders.
Many resources are available to help you learn marketing strategy, create paid advertising, and build an audience. Some are step-by-step, some conceptual, and some are done-for-you paid services. How you approach marketing will vary based on your audience, budget, experience, goals, and your motivation for the task.
As with many aspects of self-publishing, you'll hear many absolutes when researching a topic. You must do ‘X’ to be successful or ‘Follow my step-by-step best seller process’, and some of them may be very successful or helpful, but self-publishing can be a very personal journey, and your goals may not mirror those of the people giving advice.
Investing time or money into something that isn’t a good fit for you and doesn’t produce the expected results can be pretty defeating. If you’re at the very beginning of your publishing journey, start with some introspection:
How are you most comfortable engaging with people in general? Are you a storyteller who thrives in front of a live audience? Is social media more your jam? Is there a particular platform (or two) that you’re on daily? Do you engage in online forums or groups? Perhaps you’re really good at direct sales.
Find one thing you’re good at, and that you enjoy. That’s where you’ll begin building your foundation. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t move out of your comfort zone or expand into different platforms or spaces. You should… once you’ve developed consistent and repeatable strategies. And it’s easiest to build that in an environment where you’re already comfortable and thriving.
Building an audience is much more than hawking your book. Chances are, once someone buys your book, they won’t buy the same book over and over, but creating a relationship between reader and author by engaging them with content can lead to future sales. Readers who like you and the content you produce are much more likely to share and continue sharing within their circles. Even if you have only one book, creating (non-salesy) content about you and your book can pay off as you build your audience.
Before we dive into content, let’s talk strategy.

Read the entire article in the March 2023 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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