Book marketing

I get it.  You’re a writer, not a marketer.  You’re not excited by the notion of “hawking your wares” or “pushing your book”.  You think that, every time you ask someone for money, a little piece of your soul dissolves.


In today’s publishing environment, those who get the shakes at the thought of self-promotion have been given two choices when it comes to their fear of book marketing:


1. Get Over It

2. Become extinct.


May I offer a third choice?



Forget about book marketing, forget about promotion, forget about selling.



Instead, focus on advocating.



Here’s what I mean:


You’ve written (or you’re planning to write) a book, app or eBook that will bring something meaningful to the life of readers. Perhaps you have a message to share, important information to teach, an inspirational tale to tell or you just want to give your new friends a few giggles to brighten a day.
That’s a pretty important contribution, and it deserves to flourish.


So let me ask you this: How, exactly, will that reader ever be impacted by your work if no one tells her about it? How will her life be changed by your words if you keep everything to yourself?


It’s up to you to reach her. In fact, you’re doing her a great disservice by not reaching her!


How do you reach her? By marketing. No, scratch that — by advocating for your work.


By bringing people together with a goal not only to sell your book, but to improve their life experience. By going to where your prospective readers are hanging out (or, perhaps where their parents are hanging out) and becoming part of their world. (And then having them become part of your world.) By moving forward with a certainty that you have something important to share and you’re bound and determined to share it.


Let me be clear:  if you have created something that will enhance another person’s life, you owe it to them to tell them about it!


If you’re truly a writer, the opportunity to advocate for yourself and your work should thrill you.  Heck – it’s right in your wheelhouse.  You’re a communicator, and this is about communication.  You’re a wordsmith, and this is about putting words together on a  blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.  You love young people, and this is a further opportunity to connect with them and learn from them.


What’s so scary about that?  In fact, if you’re like most writers, you’ll find that advocating for your work is rewarding, fun and full of surprises.


So, there it is — if you’re not cut out to be a marketer, then don’t become one.  Instead, become an advocate.


And then go change the world!



Tomorrow, I’ll be back with an exclusive video sneak peek from my new course Easy Author Marketing.  I think it will really open your eyes — so stay tuned!




Tags: , ,


    1. Avatar
      June 15th

      I think marketing is extremely important and requires as much time and effort as writing the book.

    2. Avatar

      You are so right! I do not like marketing my book–but it do think it is a great book on many levels for children and I want to get it into their hands. ADVOCATING is the perfect word! My book was released in April and I did have a small Facebook/Twitter following. But that’s so not enough. I’m currently working on getting info together to start a blog and I’m trying to reach out to bookstores, libraries and schools where I can read my book. So… I’m reading your series with much interest to see how else I can be the best ADVOCATE for my “baby.”

    3. Avatar
      Sharon Plumb
      June 16th

      I know that marketing is important, and I like how you have reframed it as advocating. Much less scary and much more purposeful. But I have 3 questions.

      1. I have published a YA novel and a picture book and now I am trying to find a publisher for a middle grade adventure novel. Do I have to build up 3 different tribes of readers? Because that does sound like a lot of work. Or maybe I can find some commonalities and do them all together.

      2. I’ve heard about “branding”, where we have to make ourselves into a recognizable brand so people will recognize us and know what we are about. Does this also fit into your marketing system?

      3. I understand about reaching people with interesting ideas related to my book. But how much do I say about the book before it even has a publisher? Do I talk it up and risk not being able to find one? Won’t that make people think it’s not a good story?

      I look forward to your course.

      • Avatar
        Jon Bard
        June 16th

        Great questions, Sharon. Very perceptive….

        1. The picture book would probably need to be its own tribe, as you’ll be dealing with parents (and teachers, librarians, etc.) not the young readers themselves. With YA, you can go directly to teens (over 13). The MG and the YA could certainly fit inside the same tribe, assuming you can come up with some common link that makes sense. There is a portion of the course that deals specifically with the legalities of reaching out to children under 13 (COPPA) that you’ll find helpful. the bottom line — go for their parents. You can’t collect contact info from young children.

        2. Branding will happen as a result of the tribe building, but it will happen authentically and naturally. You’ll develop it as you go on. To me, that’s much more impactful than simply choosing a brand and trying to make it stick. If it’s not really “you”, it won’t resonate.

        3. Remember — it’s not about the book. It’s about connecting people to you as a writer. So offer up short stories or other work that people will enjoy. As you create the book, you’ll be bringing your tribe members into the actual process (I talk specifically how to do this in the course) so they’ll be invested in the book. By the time the book comes out, they’ll be waiting eagerly for it.

        Again, great questions. You’re going to do really well with this, I think. 🙂

    4. Avatar
      Coroline Grace
      September 13th

      Very insightful for a new authir like myself. I’m going to be releasing my first early chapter book series in late October. Such truth as I’ve been putting all my time into the marketing thing thus far. Again, I greatly appreciate your words.

      At least I’ve got the blog thing down to start with 😉

    Have some thoughts about this post? Please leave a comment!

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *