If you're an introvert like me, you probably hear the word "marketing" and cringe. The thought of putting yourself out there on social media for the world to see makes your skin crawl, your palms sweat, and dread creep through your mind. You may worry that you won't be successful, that nobody will like you, or worse...that nobody will buy your book. You'd rather hide under a rock than speak in public and you have absolutely no desire to call attention to yourself in person or online. Sound familiar?
You may look at me now and think- You? An introvert? No way! But it's true. I used to be painfully shy as a child and some of those tendencies still stand firm. I would much rather be alone than in a crowd, I would rather stay home and read than attend a party, and I would definitely prefer to keep to myself rather than be on social media putting it all out there.
Being an introvert doesn't mean that you can't succeed when marketing your book. It only means that you'll have to think a little smarter about your marketing strategy.
Pick a strategy you're comfortable with
You don't have to go big a bold with your marketing strategy. If you're a first-time author who has never done social media in your life or a terribly shy indie writer you aren't going to ruin your chances if you start slow and steady. While social media can feel like a big step, the truth is that when you first start posting, nobody is going to know. And you know what's great about that? It gives you time to warm up, try new things, make mistakes, learn, and grow all without everyone's eyes on you. It's important to pick a strategy that works with your comfort level, schedule, and something you'll find enjoyable. If posting every day doesn't work for you- don't worry! Consistency is what's important here, not quantity.
For more inspiration see 15 Steps To Build An Audience For Your Novel
Establish a presence
The next step after you've chosen your strategy is to begin establishing your presence. Create an author website, sign up for social media, join genre and writing related groups on Facebook, the options are endless! You don't have to do all of these all at once. Even if you only created an author website- find out How To Build Your Author Brand in 10 Easy Steps here- and one social media profile to start with, you could still make progress and expand your reach as you grew.
Draft your introductory posts
My secret for successful introductions? I write them down beforehand! Sometimes being put on the spot leads to messy and tongue-tied introductions...or worse, stage fright. The great thing about social media is that you can script every single meeting before you reach out and no one is the wiser. When I first started I made a cheat sheet where I wrote down my book's synopsis, what I would say when reaching out to other writers and potential readers, my introductory post, and About Me page on my blog Writing It Wells. You can even do this with videos and any other time you need to make an announcement. It takes the guess work out of speaking and gives you time to practice beforehand, minimizing any embarrassing mistakes.
The most important thing to remember is to be yourself! Nothing is more interesting that what you have to offer as an individual. You don't have to be glamorous, staged, or perfect. You only have to be genuine. Share pieces of your life, like a vulnerable moment. Share your triumphs, your discouragement, the challenges you face. Big or small, balancing the ups and downs of life is something we all share and can appreciate. Be generous with your time and support. Taking a moment a day to comment a kind phrase on someone else's post, sharing someone else's work, promoting another writer's book launch, and answering all the correspondence/feedback you receive shows people you care, which in turn will make them want to engage with you more in the future.
Engagement is all about engaging. Reach out to others by commenting a short phrase on the things they're sharing, comment using a reactionary gif to big news on Twitter, ask questions about their life and work, participate in events and engagement posts such as author follow loops on Instagram and writing contests on Facebook. Promote and recommend other books in your genre, especially if they're from a fellow indie writer. Remember, the best way to be interesting is to be interested.
Write, write, and then write some more
A surefire way to succeed is to have a base of material to fall upon for sharing on social media. Write as much as you can, all the time. If you're writing a book, share snippets of your novel. Tell us all about your process and the struggles it takes to reach your goal of publishing. Using your book to do the work when it comes to marketing is not only smart, but in the end it will save you time. While you may be having fun writing and talking about it, you're also generating interest for when you finally publish, which translates to buyers later on. Another great way to bring more interest to yourself is to share other works and projects you may be doing. Do you write poetry or short stories? Perhaps you like to upcycle old furniture, or you like to paint or even knit. Any hobby can be turned into interesting snippets to share with your followers so don't be afraid to use them. You can even use things relating to your characters, such as their interests or hobbies, to help you come up with post ideas.
If you're an introvert, book marketing can seem like the worst. The key to overcoming fears of being vulnerable is to know what you have to do and practice. These 6 tips will help you get there and guide you through a successful book marketing strategy.
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