By Sandra Beckwith
When I find myself procrastinating about writing a blog post like this or an article for a client, I have to hit the “pause” button and think about what’s holding me back.
About nine times out of 10, my problem is that I don’t know how to begin the article. That’s an obstacle for me because I’m wired to start at the beginning.
Fortunately, I’ve finally found a way around this. Now, when I realize that I’m procrastinating, I skip the beginning and start writing where I’m comfortable. I fill in the beginning later, once I have everything else in place.
That’s exactly what I did with this article. I knew what I wanted to say. In fact, I was excited about what I wanted to say! But I just didn’t know how to ease into it.
So, as I’m writing these sentences now, the rest of this blog post is already done. Yes, the process is a little backwards, but I think you can see where I’m going with this. I figured out what is holding me back, and found a workaround.
That’s what I want to do for you with this article.
What’s holding you back?
Enough about me. What about you?
What’s holding you back?
What’s keeping you from moving forward with your book promotion? Here are three common problems and how to maneuver around them.
1. You’re confused about where to begin.
Authors who would rather write books than market them are often overwhelmed by the many book marketing tactics available.
What’s more, they get conflicting advice from peers. Someone in their writing group says, “You should be using Instagram!” while an author in a Facebook group says that Amazon ads are the secret to sales success.
If they don’t write books in your genre and if they aren’t more successful than any author you know, stop listening to them. Instead, figure out who will buy your book. When you know that, you’ll be able to do the research required to discover where you’ll find them online and in the real world. That will help you zero in on the tactics that will work for your book and its readers, not anyone else’s.
2. You’re not comfortable with some of the work involved.
You’re not alone. Many authors say to me, “I feel like I’m blowing my own horn and I don’t like doing that.”
Others simply don’t enjoy some of the tasks involved.
Both are surmountable obstacles.
If book promotion makes you feel self-conscious, re-frame how you look at it. You wrote your book for a reason, right? Maybe it’s to entertain, educate, or inform.
When you tell the right people – your ideal readers – about your book, you’re performing a public service. You’re doing them a favor. Reading your book could help them solve a problem or escape into a story.
As for those tasks you just don’t like, I’ve got three words: Don’t do them.
It’s that simple. If you don’t understand Twitter, don’t use it, even if your readers do. There are other options. Similarly, if you communicate better in writing than you do by speaking, ditch public speaking and focus on guest blogging and sending tip sheets to the press for publicity.
3. You’re having trouble finding the time for book marketing.
I hear ya. It’s not easy.
There are always lots of demands on your time – the job that pays the bills, family commitments, and well, life, right?
But . . . you found time to write the book, so you can find time to tell people about it. Here are just a few ideas:
- Set daily promotion goals to keep you motivated.
- Reallocate the time you set aside to write the book, using it for book promotion instead.
- Get up early.
- Use your lunch hour.
- Get outside help from a virtual assistant or student intern.
Finding time for book marketing might mean postponing your next book because you don’t have time to do both at once. That’s okay. Sales and awareness of today’s book will help build a larger audience for the next one.
Knowledge is power, so whenever you feel powerless, take the time to learn as much as you can about the topic that’s causing your paralysis. It will help give you the confidence you need to move forward.
What’s holding you back? Maybe we can help you find a way around it here.