Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
In my experience, most authors dislike the idea of self-promotion. Also in my experience, people (including authors) don’t enjoy the constant barrage of promotion surrounding us at all times. People don’t want to be sold to. People are tired of marketers trying to change their minds, and advertisers hyping products.
You already know this, and it’s why self-promotion feels wrong. And I imagine this is why you don’t like it.
I think there are other reasons we dislike self-promotion. Maybe we just want to write, and anything else feels like it’s outside our gifting and our interests. Maybe we find it confusing and frustrating because nothing we do seems to make a difference or get any kind of noticeable results.
It could be that the idea of “self promotion” is simply distasteful to us—as Christians, and as humble, (slightly) introverted writers. Self-promotion doesn’t feel like an honorable thing. We’re not supposed to be braggy. We’re not supposed to speak highly of ourselves.
Self-promotion doesn’t feel right. And it doesn’t work.
Perhaps we need to look at marketing our books differently. What if we let go of the notion of self-promotion, and understood that what we’re doing is not so much marketing or promotion or selling—
—but sharing something valuable with the world.
We, as writers and marketers, are offering people something they want, or something they need.
Marketing isn’t about shouting “look at me” or even, “buy my book!” but rather it’s about adding value—to your readers’ lives, and to your life. We don’t need to tell people what they want or what they need, but simply share our offerings, and know that the people who want it, will come.
It makes sense that promoting your books would be much more difficult if, deep down, you believe it’s an activity that is a waste of your time and talent, or not an honorable activity. But when you promote your books, you’re doing what is necessary in order for your message to spread in the world. You’re making a contribution to the world.
And when you’re able to see what you do as inherently good, and you feel the goodness of it, you’ll avoid hype and creepy self-promotion tactics, and your genuine enthusiasm will draw others in.
You have something valuable to offer. Maybe it’s a story that will entertain and inspire. Maybe it’s a work of nonfiction that will improve someone’s habits, or enhance their faith, or change their very life.
Promoting your books is all part of the same goal – sharing something valuable with people who would enjoy it and benefit from it.
There’s a book by Rabbi Daniel Lapin called Thou Shall Prosper, and in the foreword, Dave Ramsey discusses the idea that money is so much more than we think it is. He says “money connects two dreamers.” And you know, a book connects two dreamers, too. The author and the reader, both dreamers, get to share the dream in the form of a book. This is something amazing you’re offering the world! The chance to share a dream!
Isn’t it much more fun to look at promoting your books as “sharing a dream” instead of simply checking a box – doing a necessary evil?
I suspect that if you can develop the mindset of sharing a dream, along with mastering some tools of book promotion, you’ll be able to move from the idea of “self promotion” to the idea of offering something valuable to the world, making it much more palatable to promote your books.
What do you think? Could it be possible to embrace book promotion through a simple change of mindset?
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