Do you ever feel strange when you’re promoting your book? When you’re selling and pushing it on people? When you’re even just talking about it?
Yeah. A lot of us do.
Basically, every creative in the world feels weird selling things and promoting their products. That’s just at the start anyway.
Now, why do you feel like that? Well. Probably because you’re thinking:
Why should people even care? This is just a book. There are so many books out there. Everyone is pushing their books all the time basically everywhere. People hate those promotional emails and tweets and ads. Everyone sees right through that. When I do it, I feel like this slimy and desperate sales person, but I’m not doing it for the money. I’m doing it because I love my book and I want people to read it. So why should I be like – buy my book and give me all the money?
These are all normal thoughts. I have them every time I promote something. The thing is, the more I do it, the more I get used to doing it, and the less I feel bad about doing it. Because let me explain something first…
When the average person is on social media, they’re scrolling and they’re looking at all the things. They don’t really think about your tweet or anyone’s posts. They’re just looking for something interesting, right? And when they find something that they actually want, they’re grateful. That something can be your book! If you think about it, all you want is to give your book a chance to be seen and read.
Your story needs to be heard. So I think of promoting books as a way of honoring your story, honoring your book.
You see, I am honoring my stories. I am telling people about them. I’m not telling people about them to make money. I’m telling people about them because I want to honor that one thing that I’ve put out and that I’m genuinely proud of.
Now, if you don’t want to promote or sell or anything like that, then don’t self-publish or don’t publish at all. Just keep them for yourself or give them to friends or put them on free platforms like Wattpad, whatever. That’s cool, too. Maybe you’re going to feel better promoting them then when they’re free, and that’s okay.
I just don’t feel like there should be shame around selling because selling isn’t done just to make money. Selling is also done in order to help people.
For example, if I have a course on how to write a book or how to publish a book, I’m not selling it to be rich. I’m actually selling it to help you. I’m helping you write books, or to publish books. I feel grateful and honored that I can do that.
Even if your book is a novel that’s not designed to help anyone do anything specifically, I beg to differ. Your story will be a way for someone to escape from their reality, to take a break and recharge, to feel something… novels are very helpful.
If you can turn your mindset around like that, away from the negative, from the: Oh my God, I’m asking people for money. Who even has money in times like these? To the positive: Oh my God, I’m I’m so excited about this thing that is going to help a lot of people. I want to help more and more people and I’m going to tell people because they need to know about it and they need the help…
If you can turn your mindset around from negative to positive, you’re going to feel much better about promoting your book. Also, the more you promote your book, the less weird you’re going to feel about it. Eventually, you’re not going to feel weird or bad. That weird slimy feeling is just at the start, and it’s always like that, for all of us. Eventually, you get used to it, and you even get excited about it.
Finally, you don’t have to promote in a ‘gross’ way. There are so many ways to promote a book.
There’s the excited way, where you share excited GIFs and photos of your book, to share your excitement. People notice that, they can feel your enthusiasm, and many of them will be happy for you. Some of them will even buy, and that’s cool.
Sometimes you’re just going to want to build buzz before a launch, like for example, by showing behind the scenes stuff like your character development or your worldbuilding, etc. Just get them excited! It’s not slimy to get people excited about a story. It’s actually very cool. People love that kind of thing. They love sneak peeks. They love looking at your cover reveal, they love hearing about your publishing experiences, they love hearing your thoughts about other books in the field. they love seeing your process. So don’t hold any of it back.
I feel like writers and authors around the world have this misconception that marketing and promoting is just advertising and paying for ads, and just being super shouty on social media and sharing your book link all the time.
No, that’s that’s not it.
A good promo post on social media, for example, wouldn’t be BUY MY BOOK and then the link. It would be something like: Hey guys, look, I have a review or hey, guys, look, I’m putting my book in this bookstore, or hey guys, look, I’m going to be reading at this conference, or even just hey, guys look, my dog loves my book so much, and there’s not even a link to go with it.
When I promote my book, I share my process – every part of it. I just want to tell the world what I’m doing. Share my experiences. I had a positive experience with that. I had a negative experience about that. This is what happened to me. I found this thing, and it helped me, maybe it’ll help you too… and so on.
Anything you share is content, and it’s helpful, not slimy.
Think of it this way – everything you post can’t just be about you, it needs to be about the people who are going to read it too. Think about them when you post – address them, ask them questions, share your excitement with them, build relationships, and just enjoy this amazing experience.
Appreciate your genre, talk about the publishing process, throw a giveaway, do a fun challenge or contest, partner with a ton of other authors and promote together. Marketing and promoting in general should be fun for you and authentic to you, it should fit with your values. And if something feels slimy, then that’s not the promotional method for you.
There are just so many ways to promote.
And if you still feel slimy and you have no idea how to promote your book, let us, the team at Read2Write help you spread the word about your book. We are extremely passionate about helping indie authors share their books with the world, and we would be honored to team up and help you promote your book.
If you’d like to do that, just contact us.
Now let’s recap, shall we?
Marketing and promotion don’t need to feel sleazy, like you’re some kind of door-to-door salesman selling snake oil. You can find fun ways to promote your brand and your books. In the end, you choose the methods. If you feel slimy about something, just don’t do it, do something fun and creative and authentic instead. And remember – share your book proudly because it’s helping people.
Finally, good luck with promoting your book! I know it’s hard but that’s why I’m here, and the team at Read2write is here, to help you win at this strange game called publishing books and trying to sell them. Up until this day, maybe everything felt like a losing battle or like you’re pushing a boulder up a hill, but I hope that after reading this article, you are feeling better, and lighter, about the whole thing.
Good luck and keep sharing your stories. The world needs them.