Marketing: Doing The Things You Don’t Want To Do

For those who read my blog last week, you can see that I’ve done a lot of things to help with the marketing campaign for my book THE WITCH OF ZAL. If you look at the list, however, you will see a common thread—the majority of items did not involve interacting with people.

I am a classic introvert and I have an anxiety disorder that manifests mainly in social situations. So I tend to a hermit-like existence. As soon as I signed my book contract, my published friends told me to do two things: network with other writers in my genre and get to know the book bloggers in my genre. I put those two things on my To-Do List, and there they languished.

Why? I could tell you that since 18 months seemed like a long time until publication, I just let it float and lost track of it. I could say that the research involved in both of those things was overwhelming. Both of those things are true. But they are not the reason I kept putting them off.

I kept putting them off because they are hard and scary for me and my subconscious made every rationalization it could to avoid them.

Some of the things we do in marketing are not easy for us. But we have to do them anyway. I didn’t network with authors in my genre until very late in the game, so when it came time to ask for blurbs, I stressed. Luckily, I had other fantastic authors willing to blurb for me, so my procrastination was not as destructive as it might have been.

Now, I am seeking reviewers in my genre and once again it caught me by surprise, even though it should not have. I knew I had to do it, but my brain kept saying, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow.” And because my brain told me what I wanted to hear, I listened. So the Procrastination Pressure is on again! Once again, a fellow author gave me a huge boost in the right direction, and I am now on the road to reviewers.

My first point is this: my avoidance of the things I didn’t want to do could have seriously damaged my marketing efforts. We have to do the parts of marketing we dislike or that frighten us with the same diligence and planning as the parts we enjoy. I knew what I had to do, but allowed my inner demons to get the best of me anyway, causing a great deal of pressure and stress I didn’t need to go through.

My other point is: be grateful for the writer friends you have in your life. My writer friends caught me when I fell on my face. They have listened to me when I freaked out. They have been with me through this whole long process, and I could not have made it this far without them.

Marketing involves some things we are reluctant to do. Your list of uncomfortable marketing items will differ from mine. Do them anyway, when they need to be done. Save yourself the stress of waiting until the last minute.

And lean on your friends to help you through the hard parts. You can return the favor when it’s their turn.

Which part of marketing do you find the hardest? How do you motivate yourself to get it done?

Comments

  1. Oh, my I can dearly relate. I do my best promoting online because in person it doesn’t work. Introversion aside, there are vision challenges (inability to tell when people are speaking to me) and hearing (unable to tell the difference between f and s; d, g, b, t, and so on.) A secret about hearing aids: they don’t work if you’ve got background noise, and you’re liable to have a lot of it at any signing. I find marketing works best if I play my strong suits, like blogging (I did a blog tour), and seek out reviews. Lately I’ve been struggling with time management, and I suspect you might be also. I’d love to hear the problems of time management addressed at our next coffeehouse meeting.
    Thanks for a great post.
    Barbara of the Balloons

    • Kerry Gans says:

      Yes, time management! I think that’s a boogey-man for many authors, especially those with children and other work or family obligations. Family and day job can both throw unexpected time sucks into your day. It’s not just a matter of willpower when you are not the only one making demands on your time.

  2. I am completely new to this, thus no actual advice, but I’ve read quite a bit on writer marketing and publicity. I guess what I’m wondering is if the tasks are dreaded and difficult for you, do they still provide value? Are there things you would prefer doing that might be more beneficial? Can you hire someone to do what you dislike to free up your time to write more books?

    Mainly, I’m finding not all of this is one size fits all. You don’t HAVE to do a blog tour, for example. Depending what you write, some have success, others don’t, and still others have no idea whether it helped or not. Maybe there is a happy medium in here. 🙂

    • Kerry Gans says:

      Stephanie – You are right, there is no one size fits all. Each book is different, each author is different. I think that when authors do the marketing things they enjoy doing, they find more success because their enjoyment shows through. However, the one thing you MUST do as a writer is contact your readership, your buyership (not always the same, when you are a children’s author). So you have to do some marketing things that you may not enjoy that much to get your message in front of the right people. For instance, if all my audience is on Twitter and I dislike Twitter, I would have to go to Twitter. So sometimes the things that don’t come easy for you are the things you have to do.

      As to paying someone to do these things for you…it will depend on what it is. Obviously, no one can do a speech or a school presentation for you–although you can have someone help you plan and practice it ahead of time. Even social media is touchy. Sure, someone could manage your social media for you, but you run the risk of your audience sensing that you are not being authentic, and that can turn people off. So, yes, you can pay people to do things for you, but you’d need to think carefully which things and why.

      Thanks for the comment!

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