Marketing your book is difficult, and it’s hard to discover your unique marketing pathway.
There’s a familiar Old Testament story about David and Saul that struck me. David is ready to face the giant Goliath, so he slips on the much-larger Saul’s armor. It didn’t fit. In fact, it hindered his ability to move.
David shed the awkward-fitting armor, picked up his trusty slingshot, and gathered five smooth stones from the stream. Now he was ready.
Here’s my theory about authors and marketing: I think we’re guilty of not exercising the wisdom of David. We’re drawn to flashy, “proven” marketing strategies. We see them as the answer to our fear, our upcoming battle to win book buyers. But we fail to see that those strategies might not fit us. In fact they may hinder more than they’ll help.
Be careful of retrofitting something that does not fit. And be cautious particularly when you have to pay for a strategy. You could waste a lot of money doing something that you cannot sustain.
A caveat:I don’t mean you shouldn’t try new things that scare you. That’s where growth happens. Take note that David tried on Saul’s armor. He attempted to make it fit. But he reassessed and moved on.
Your job as a marketer is to know yourself. To be like David and be comfortable in your abilities. David knew his slingshot. It had been with him as he tended sheep under starry skies. It was familiar to him. The slingshot fit beautifully in his hand, and he wielded it well. My question for you is this: What fits you? What is your slingshot?
Have you been trying to put on TikTok like Saul’s awkward armor? Have you been blogging with your teeth clenched, hating every minute of it? Have you gritted your way through webinars? Maybe you’re putting on clunky armor not intended for you. Maybe it’s okay to look yourself in the mirror, assess your personal strengths and live within them. I give you permission right now to discover your slingshot and wield it.
I’ve made this mistake so many times. I’ve run to things an expert or two told me I had to do to promote my book, only to take away precious time from my work and my family. Honest truth: I’ve spent thousands of dollars on things that weren’t me and didn’t even work. Oh the regret! In the process, I’ve realized I’m really good at Instagram, and it’s a joy to me. I love to shepherd my email list. (Jump on here if you want to see how I do it). I absolutely love doing a daily prayer podcast. These things might be dreadful for you, so please don’t do them. Don’t settle for Saul’s clunky armor. Find your slingshot, then don’t apologize for using it. Then focus most of your efforts in what you’re good at, and what delights you.
As my caveat encouraged, we all need to risk, try new things and experiment a bit, but not at the expense of the way we’re made. Not at the expense of how we’re designed. Otherwise what we do will not be sustainable.
Q4U: How have you slipped on Saul’s armor? And what is your slingshot – your you-shaped marketing strength?