Now that my book is launched, I’ve been asking myself what book marketing activities I can pursue to bring attention to my book. Some options make me feel very uncomfortable. Does the discomfort come from doing something unfamiliar, or does it show that particular book marketing activity is a bad match for me? How do authors navigate the unfamiliar territory that comes once the book is out there?
My state of mind reminds me of Jack Kornfield’s book title: After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.
After every major achieved deadline in my life, I’ve experienced a letdown. In place of the tension of finishing up last details, I feel an aimless emptiness that that is very uncomfortable, even though I know the emptiness will eventually get filled with new activities. Launching my book has been no different.
In an earlier post, I described the activities that preceded my April 28 2022. If I made it sound easy, don’t be fooled. Every day for months, I woke up with something that needed doing, often something I wasn’t sure how to do.
- Hiring someone else to construct a new web site, the first time that I had dealt directly with a web designer.
- Signing up for one email-list-building software, deciding I didn’t like it, and switching over to another at the last minute.
- Writing up all the resources for my website, thus keeping the promise I made in the book. That turned out to be around 60 short web pages with titles, comments, and links.
- Sending emails to person after person, group after group, requesting them to help with the launch.
- Creating and workshopping my giveaway, a workbook that contains a self-assessment of writing needs along with pointers to experiments in the book. I am quite proud of what I created. See the bottom of this page if you want to sign up for it.
- Making decisions about all the last-minute design questions of book, Amazon page, website.
Some of this activity, particularly setting up the resources, was fun, but a lot was uncomfortable and demanding. I had to promise myself to spend at least 30 minutes on marketing every day.
But then it was done. The big splash occurred, and now I’m settling back into the long haul. What can I do now to bring this book to the attention of people who might find it beneficial?
I’m still figuring it out, but here are a few thoughts I’ve had already about where I am right now.
Accept the Letdown
I know it’s not permanent. I’ve been giving myself a little time to rest and do other things, even though I have a feeling in the back of my mind of time ticking away.
Remember Why I Wrote the Book
For me, it’s not so much a matter of building my business. I’m not sure I want my business to get that much bigger, and I’m very used to building it by referral so that I have transitive closure on trust. It’s about helping people write. So, some of the book marketing choices that would pay back in terms of more business don’t make sense for me. But they might make sense for you if your book is a way to build a business.
Find the Book Marketing Activities That I Can Learn to Enjoy
This is the long haul, after all. I am reminding myself to approach every marketing activity that I decide to try with the goal of learning to enjoy it, at least a little.
It makes me think of what I learned as a child when we moved every few years and I’d have to start a new school. I learned to delay judging a new school until I’d been there at least 3 months. I knew that my beginning experiences were likely to be unpleasant.
So far I’ve tried a steady social media drip. At first, I found that uncomfortable. But Sherri Fisher has mentored me, and she helps me with designs. I find it’s something I can do and maybe even come to enjoy, since it involves writing a sentence or two with every picture I post. I did balk at posting every day, but I think I can keep up 3 times a week for at least the rest of the year. My book is well structured to highlight in little bits and pieces.
I also think I could enjoy being a podcast guest, once I get over the discomfort of getting myself invited. I have one arranged, and I now need to learn how to find and approach podcast hosts. The press kit I wrote about in an earlier blog post will probably help.
I will return with further blog posts about what I try and how it works.
What book marketing steps could you take to put your writing in front of your intended audience?