“I just want to write,” says the author. “I don’t want to spend my time marketing.”
That thump is me banging my head against a wall.
C’mon people. There are over a million books published every year. Another 20 million more are already in print. Do you know what happens when you don’t do anything to let readers know your book exists?
Your book will be ignored. That’s fine if you are just writing your book for yourself. In that case, don’t go to the expense of paying an editor and a designer to produce your book. Just let it live on your computer in the file called “My Book.”
Are you afraid of being seen?
I think I know why writers say they just want to write. They were raised, just as I was, to not “put yourself forward.” They were taught that if your work is any good, people will just discover it and buy it. But the marketplace doesn’t reward modesty. Remember those million books published this year? Do you think all of those writers are just waiting for someone to notice their books?
They are out there promoting, advertising and connecting with their ideal readers. They are asking for reviews, blogging, posting on social media, podcasting, giving webinars, filming videos and more. They want their books to be SEEN.
Do you think people would benefit from reading your book? Then you owe it to other people to promote your book to the people who would benefit from reading it.
Are you afraid of people criticizing your work?
I get it. And I’ve had this fear myself. It’s not easy to put yourself out there and risk getting bad reviews or nasty comments, justified or not. But haven’t we always had to deal with bullies, in school or on the playground? One of the blessings of getting older is realizing that I don’t have to accept other people’s opinions as fact. It’s ok to say “screw them” and move on.
Be clear why you are writing and publishing your book.
It’s perfectly okay to write that book and print a few copies for family and friends. It’s also okay to publish with the intention of actively promoting and selling it. When you go halfway – publish the book and expect it to sell without marketing – you will not be happy with the results. The trick is to line up your expectations with actions. Whichever way you choose, happy publishing.