Hello. My name is Jeannette DiLouie, and I’m really bad at marketing my books.
This is a real problem, hence my AA-esque opening. Only this is WA: Writers’ Anonymous, so named because the people in it struggle to get themselves or their books any attention. If they try at all.
I bet I could easily get a local chapter of WA going in Lancaster, PA, where I live. Just like I’m sure you could start one easily wherever you live.
This isn’t to say that every single writer out there should go to such a gathering. Some fiction and nonfiction writers alike are exceptionally good at selling their books.
They’ll talk about them nonstop, sharing every single detail about them – regardless of whether they have a happily captive audience or not. And they won’t let their hapless potential readers go until said individuals buy their books.
On the spot.
Others are genuinely just good about marketing their efforts. They’ll bring their authorship up in relevant conversation. Or, if asked, they’ll give a compelling summary or teaser.
But then there are writers like me. And boy, can we use some tips.
Everyone who belongs in Writers’ Anonymous has their own story, of course. Personally, I relate to Your Blogging Mentor’s opening statements in its article on “How to Get Over Your Fear of Marketing to Your Audience:”
Do you want to grow your blog and make a part-time or full-time income, but you’re afraid of selling to your audience? Are you fearful you might come off as a sleazy salesperson to your readers?
Now, for the purposes of this post, we’re not talking about blogs. We’re talking about books: fiction or nonfiction. But the first point the website brings up is a relevant one nonetheless…
Change your mindset.
So what is your mindset? For me, it’s that I don’t want to bother people. That’s why I’m much better about recommending my book coaching and editing services. It’s because I see an immediate value in promoting them to people who want to write their own books.
I offer great rates and compassionate yet compelling tactics that help them reach their stated goal: to become published authors.
But all I’m doing is trying to take money from them when I tell them about my books. Right?
I suppose that would be right if my books were trash. If I hadn’t put any thought or effort into them. If I was talentless or unethical.
But none of that’s even close to being true. And, as a result, what I’m offering is either an:
Entertaining read (in the case of my fantasy series, for example)
Educationally entertaining read (such as with my Revolutionary War novels).
So here’s the thing: If you truly believe in your book being a worthwhile read, stop thinking of it as a burden. You know how much you enjoy opening up an engaging or informative or inspiring novel or nonfiction work?
Well, you’re not alone in that. That’s why there are bookstores and e-readers. That’s why select authors are millionaires: because other people – people like you – find the act of reading a worthwhile trade for $7.99, $12.95 or whatever.
For the record, that’s not a promise that you too will become a millionaire from your books… no matter how successful you are at leaving Writers’ Anonymous behind (and yes, you can leave the program without failing).
This also isn’t a call to become that pushy person who practically forces his book on others.
It’s only a challenge to change your mindset. And then to see how far you can get from there.