The LITClub releases on August 30. (BOOK TRAILER) I’m excited and apprehensive. I’ve never sold a book before. The closer to launch day I get, the more questions I have. I find myself wondering all kinds of things. Will others find this book helpful? How can I show them the book is available? I’m a debut author with very little social media influence. Who will even know the book exists? Can’t I just put my book “out there” and remain in the shadows?
I began reading the blogs of authors that I respect to find out:
* If I really have to be seen for my book to sell.
*If so, I wanted to learn how they learned to feel okay with the process.
*What they do to create a buzz about their books while maintaining friendships that weren’t based upon selling.
This is what I learned.
Whether an author is with a publishing house or not, she must promote her book. I prefer to be on the sidelines, so this was a tough pill to swallow, until I read this post by Jody Hedlund, 5 Ways to Take the Ickiness out of Marketing Our Books. She told me what NOT to do and gave me links to read that showed me how to enjoy it. In her post she shares a link to an article called Does Marketing Your Writing Feel Like Prostitution, by Diane Holmes. (I couldn’t have said it better myself.) Diane dispels this notion by bringing to mind the wrong thinking that many of us have about selling our wares. She shares a link to a post by Mike Duran that hit the nail on the head for me.
His perspective on the subject gave me courage to step out of the shadows into the light of marketing my book AND opened my eyes to the possibility of enjoying the process!
“For this reason, I’m starting to believe it is helpful to see writing and marketing as flip sides of the same calling. If God’s “called” you to write, then He’s “called” you to market.
I’m thinking of The Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30). In this classic tale, not only did the master entrust his servants with different sums of money, he held them responsible for their management of said sums. Those two elements are the crux of the lesson: (1) Gift and (2) Management. So for the writer, that looks like this:
- Writing is your gift / talent.
- Marketing is your part of the stewardship of the gift / talent.
No, marketing is not the only part of stewardship. Nor is it probably the biggest part. I faithfully manage my writing talent by trying to write better, not just trying to yell louder. Marketing is just one way to “multiply” my talent, which seems to be a big deal for the master in the biblical parable.”
So far my research says that I have to market my book and that I can have a good feeling about it because I understand the motivations for doing it. The only thing left to discover is how to do it.
In Jody’s post she tells us that her publisher has responsibilities and that she has other responsibilities. Her particular publisher solicits reviewers to write reviews that benefit readers. Jody accepts reviewers for a different reason, to spread the word about her books. She calls these readers, Influencers. An influencer recognizes her responsibility is to help the author. But, what if an Influencer doesn’t like the book?
“If an Influencer ends up not liking a book, that’s okay. They don’t have to lie or say good things about a book they don’t like. Usually they just opt not to say anything at all rather than hurt the author’s marketing efforts. I encourage my Influencers (when they don’t like my book) to pass it along to someone they think might like it. Then they’ve still influenced for me, even if the book wasn’t up their alley.” — Jody Hedlund
In light of all of this, I accept marketing as my responsibility. Now, I am formulating a plan that will involve your help. If you love books and want children to love reading, maybe you will consider becoming an influencer for The LITClub which will be released August 30.
I will give you a free copy of The LITClub, if you want to help me spread the word. (There are a limited number of free copies available.) All you have to do is read, 14 Ways to Help an Author. Then fill out this form with:
When my publisher makes the book available to me, I will send you a free copy. Then mark your calendar on August 30 with LAUNCH DAY, THE LITCLUB, and chat, chat, chat about it on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and any other social outlet where you like to hang out.
What about you? How have you helped an author spread the word? If you are an author, did you ever struggle with the notion of marketing your book? What did you do to over come it?