Why Marketing Is So Hard For Authors

Many authors find marketing difficult. It’s awkward, embarrassing, and confusing. Even writing marketing copy can be a struggle.

Why is it so hard?

I think it’s because we are told over and over that WE are the brand, not our books. And many authors are introverts,┬áso putting ourselves out there as a brand is tough.

Also, it is common to believe that you are nothing special. Many people suffer from Imposter Syndrome, writers perhaps more than the general population. That feeling that you are a fraud and everyone will find out is quite a deterrent to opening ourselves up to the public.

Another prevalent human condition is to assume that what you know, everyone knows. We literally cannot see how knowledge and skills that we use every day can be of interest to anyone else. To us they are ho-hum, and we fail to see the value.

I am currently writing campaign materials, so I am thinking a lot about marketing myself. And I am finding that this is easier than author marketing–perhaps because I am able to focus on the benefits I can bring to the position. Writing the campaign pieces is much like writing a resume–take your know skills and show how they apply to the potential job.

Many marketing gurus will say to sell the benefits of your books or the problem your book will solve for the reader rather than the book itself. I find it much easier to tout the benefits of a non-fiction book. Such a book usually has a clear purpose, a defined audience. I find this hard to do for fiction. My book is a middle grade fantasy. Hopefully one of the benefits is that the readers enjoy it. If they also pick up on and resonate with the themes of being true to yourself, protecting the environment, friendship, and not becoming an oppressive dictator, that’s a bonus.

How about you? How do you sell the benefits of your books, especially if it is fiction?


  1. Carolee Pastorius says

    AH, yes, the ever present feeling like a fraud…many musical people feel the same way… I had to do a lot of auditioning for my various musical jobs…I’d usually do pretty well, saying to myself ” I’ll pretend like I am good” But, then, when I had to produce in the group, I would feel very nervous “Yep, they will find out I was just faking it”….It was always a big struggle to just let go…. once I figured out that by thinking of myself as a helper rather than above the norm, things worked out a lot better! We all try so hard to make the world a better place with our efforts. That should be enough!

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