How to Self-Publish and Get the Results You Want:
The Marketing Mindset
As we jump right in to the last post of this series, I hope you've found the previous posts helpful and eye-opening as you consider which road to publishing is right for you. If you missed any of the posts, you can find them all on my Pinterest Self-Publishing board by clicking here.
You could definitely stop here, follow the advice from the other three posts, and be just fine. There would be one, small problem though. No one outside of your family would know about your book. This brings us to today's main question:
How do I get the word out about my book?
Let me break the news to you gently. There's no clear-cut answer to this. There are certain strategies authors have found to be successful in marketing their own work. But how you share the message of your book depends a great deal on your personality and that of your audience. Here are three things to keep in mind when deciding how to spread the word about your book.
1. Get past the mindset that "people will get tired of me talking about my book."
Unless your friends and family are also writers, they probably don't realize the importance of assisting you in talking about your book to others. With millions of books out there, your book will have greater visibility if you enlist their help in talking about it. This could be through social media or in their own personal circles.
My friends Kim and Jana from Sweet to the Soul Marketing gave me great advice I'd like to pass along to you. They told me I need to remember that I'm sharing a message I believe God gave me to share. So when I'm talking about my book to others, I'm not talking about myself. I'm obeying what God called me to do.
Keeping this advice in my heart has helped me move forward with confidence in marketing my book.
2. Even if you choose to go with traditional publishing, you will still be expected to be involved in the marketing.
I sometimes hear authors say they want to secure a contract with a publisher so that the publishing company can handle all the marketing. That's not the case! Your contacts and circles of influence will still be the starting point for a book launch plan.
Don't even know where to begin? No problem. There are also several self-publishing experts eager to share these tips and techniques with their audiences. Some of these can be accessed for free, and some for a price.
If you're on a budget like me, a simple Google search will bring up a variety of free webinars full of valuable information. If you're willing to invest a little more, these webinars also offer extended classes for a fee. But I've found the free information to be super helpful.
3. God is ultimately in control.
This is the most important tip I can give you. When we walk in obedience and follow His call, He will get our writing into the hands of the people who will be blessed by it.
Now that doesn't mean we should sit back and do nothing. I'm a big believer in effort and doing my part. But I must first have faith in His plan and seek Him in every decision concerning the book.
Now that we know what to keep in mind, here are 4 simple tips to consider once you get a group or 'team' together to help you share your book's message.
1. Don't expect anyone to talk about your book unless they've read it, at least in part.
Just like I would not recommend a restaurant to a friend unless I'd eaten there, you should not expect acquaintances to tell someone about your book unless they've been given an opportunity to read it. Provide at least a couple of chapters to your team. You may even provide a PDF copy or preview copy of the whole book. This way they can genuinely recommend it to others.
2. Allow plenty of time for your book release team to become familiar with the work.
If someone asked me to join their book release team and only gave me a week's notice, I may have to turn them down. Give your team several weeks advance notice, and provide the sample chapters early as well. Life is busy, and this will give them more time to work around their schedules. Your consideration of their time will be appreciated.
3. Offer grace when someone says no. (And they will.)
Not everyone will be fired up about helping you promote your book, and that's OK. When someone says no, and self-doubt begins to creep in, refer to number 3 above. God is ultimately in control. Gentleness, grace, and understanding go a long way.
4. The book launch is only the beginning. Your book will be available for years to come.
Let the pressure of a stellar book launch fade away right now. The first week or two is only the beginning! God may direct you in other ways to market your book weeks, months, or even years from now.
Allow me to share a personal example. From the time I started writing Over It, I felt a strong call from God to make it a book that could be used as a group study for women's ministries or Bible studies. I've seen God's faithfulness in getting the book to ladies involved in women's ministry groups at their churches or independent study groups. I love watching God work!
Because of this, in August I will be releasing a Leader's Guide FREE for download on my book page. My prayer is that this guide will help group leaders who choose to use Over It in their fall study groups, bringing the Over It message to even more ladies.
If you'd like more information about the Over It book or my self-publishing process. I'd be happy to chat more about it. Click here to visit the contact page and I'll get back with you as soon as possible.
May God bless you in your writing endeavors. And if you choose to self-publish, I pray for His guidance and direction for you throughout the process. Thank you for joining me for this series!