acim author: Just hearing those words can strike terror into the hearts of new authors. Book marketing can seem mysterious, difficult, or down right impossible. I get calls all the time from authors who have boxes of books arriving on their doorstep and no idea what to do with them next.
In my experience, there are two road blocks to successful book marketing. The first road block is a lack of knowledge. That road block is easily resolved. There are a myriad of books, programs, coaches, and professionals who can help you learn how market your book.
The second road block is more challenging. That road block is fear. Even if you have all the book marketing knowledge in the world, you will not be able to implement that knowledge if you are stuck in the quicksand of fear.
These fears haunt authors and keep them busy doing everything except book marketing. They sound like this:
1. “No one really buys books any more. They really don’t want to hear about my books anyway.” This is the fear that your book isn’t good enough.
2. “I’m too old/young, fat/thin, tongue-tied, shy, or goofy to talk about my book on the stage or during an interview.” This fear is that you are not good enough.
3. “If my book marketing creates a super success, my sister, husband, best friend, or parent won’t like it.” This is the fear of what will happen to your relationships if your book becomes a success.
4. “I’m too busy now. If my book succeeds, I won’t have the capacity to handle all the new demands.” This fear concerns new expectations that you fantasize will be overwhelming and impossible.
5. “If my book succeeds, my life will change dramatically. I will be stalked by the paparazzi, reporters will snoop into my past, and I’ll have no more privacy.”
Notice the common denominator of all these fears?
When you look at the words, you’ll see a strong pattern of I/me/my. When these fears swirl around your mind, they encourage you to think only of yourself, your flaws, your writing, and your life. They become like an endless tape of depressing and fear inducting music playing in the back of your mind.
The good news is that there is a remedy to overcoming these fears. Once you feel yourself slipping into fear and not moving forward with marketing your book, turn the focus of your thoughts off of yourself and towards your reader. Concentrate on how your book will serve your reader, how that reader will feel as she reads your book, and how her life will be enriched by your writing.