Is Your Mindset Preventing You From Promoting Your Book?

We realise it’s hard work to write a book. So when you’ve finished it, it might feel like even more hard work to start promoting it. You’ll need to put a plan together and work through the actions.
We realise it’s hard work to write a book. So when you’ve finished it, it might feel like even more hard work to start promoting it. You’ll need to put a plan together and work through the actions. However, we often hear new authors say they’d like to see how book sales go before investing time and effort into their marketing...

The problem with that is, you won’t have many sales if you don’t do any marketing. So low sales become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The reality is, you’re competing in a global market and there are approximately 2 million books published every year. You have to promote your book, otherwise no-one will know it exists beyond your immediate circle of friends and family. And you might be feeling that even they aren’t going to be that receptive to buying your new book.

So let’s take a look at some of the feelings you may need to overcome: is your mindset preventing you from promoting your book?

Common myths about promoting your book

If your feelings about promoting your book are hard to identify, have a read through some of the common myths our authors have told us about. Nearly all of these have simple solutions; some are free, others might cost you money - but given that your book can stay on sale for years, they can repay you in the long term.

People will think it’s rubbish

Some authors struggle with doubt right through their publishing journey. They genuinely believe that people won’t enjoy their book or will think it’s rubbish. This is a common symptom of imposter syndrome, which you can easily overcome with cognitive behavioural therapy or another form of positive mindset work. Invest in yourself, increase your confidence and be rid of it! If you tackle your book marketing with a positive mindset, you’re bound to see positive results.

The other thing to bear in mind is that a professional editor will help improve your writing - so don’t miss this important step once your manuscript is finished. Also, we review manuscripts at SilverWood and we give honest feedback. So if your book is reviewed or published by SilverWood Books, you can be assured that it meets our high quality standards.

Your friends and family will get fed up with you going on about it

Flip that belief around and remind yourself that your true friends want nothing more than the best success for you, so they’ll understand that you’re excited about your book and need to promote it. And the beauty of developing an author persona is that you can start afresh and create a personal brand online. You can join Facebook groups where you know no-one, you can join in Twitter conversations which your friends don’t even know about, or you can become a video content creator on YouTube and build your own audience. Your friends and family might see you posting more often about your book, but the chances are, it won’t bother them and they’ll simply scroll past if they’re not interested. In any case, you should avoid boring your audience by taking an 80/20 approach: post 80 percent of content about other things that interest you or relate to your book and 20 percent directly about the book.

It costs too much to build a website

If you don’t have the skills to put together a website, you might be feeling that it’s a big investment to pay someone to do it. However, you will find a website creates a firm foundation for all your book marketing plans.And it will bring you a return in the long term. Wordpress, SquareSpace or Wix offer simple templated sites for very low prices. Or you can hire a professional web designer for a few hundred pounds (and if you work with SilverWood, we can put you in touch with our experienced Wordpress web developer). You do need to ensure your site looks good, so that potential readers aren’t put off when they visit.

Social media

It’s true that if you’re an introverted personality, it might feel difficult to continually put yourself out there and share your thoughts, tips and opinions on social media. Remember, that’s why you need an author brand. Our tip for being successful on social media is to try the different platforms and then pick your favourite one and focus on it. Post daily or several times a week, testing different types of posts to see which get the most engagement. Consistency will help because you’ll be able to build momentum over time. That momentum will help you reach new readers, long after your book is first published. If the thought of participating daily is overwhelming, flip it by suggesting to yourself that you’ll enjoy creating and posting content to start interesting conversations. When choosing which platforms to use, think about the advantages of each:

  • Facebook has some great functionality for groups and our authors have found speaking opportunities by joining speaker groups, got involved in book review discussions in reading groups, and made new friends and business connections in marketing or coaching groups. For our SilverWood authors, we can give you a list of friendly groups to try if you invest in a book marketing planning session with us.
  • Instagram relies on visual content, photos, videos and reels. You can build up your following by using hashtags on your posts and interacting with people who might be potential readers. Canva offers a great free resource for creating images with a book cover or brand logo or photos on them.
  • Twitter is great for short, snappy conversational posts. Follow people who might have similar interests to the themes in your book and take time to welcome your new followers. You don’t need to be connected to someone to follow them, so your reach is global and unlimited on Twitter.
  • Clubhouse is an audio platform, creating rooms for people to converse live. Nothing is recorded, but you can interact with the speakers, taking your questions and suggestions to the stage just by raising your hand.
  • Twitch, TikTok, Tumblr, and Pinterest are other options for you to explore.

It’s too much work to build an email list. Who will sign up anyway?

The problem with email is that you have to come up with something genuinely interesting or valuable to attract new subscribers. But why not offer a free chapter of your book? Or a short story that you’ve written? Or a PDF download - a lead magnet - that will help your subscribers solve a problem. It can take a lot of work to build up your list of contacts, but again, you have to take a long term view: readers who sign up to your newsletter are more likely to buy your second and third books when they’re released. And with social media, you don’t own the data, so you can’t directly contact people who engage with your posts. With email, providing you stick to the GDPR rules, you can email your subscribers as often as you like. You could also become an affiliate for certain products and services, meaning you have more to offer your readers.

You’re too shy to put yourself forward for publicity opportunities

It’s obvious that many authors are introverted people, because writing is such a solitary pursuit. However, if you want to sell more books, it’s important to stretch your comfort zone. Publicity opportunities can take the form of guest blogging, news articles, radio interviews or even television appearances. Our top tip to improve your confidence is to prepare for interviews by doing public speaker training or media training. If you’re interested in learning more about press and public relations, look out for our PR workshop - coming soon.

YouTube is for youngsters and the tech is complicated

Video is another way to promote your books, whether going live on a Facebook page, or recording a short video to upload onto YouTube. The popularity of video is growing fast, so if you need to overcome your negative mindset about recording videos, get some training. These days, a smart phone is all you need to record decent quality videos; although we would recommend adding captions and ensuring the sound quality is clear. So think about your background before you start.

Podcasts are a bit of a fad

This one is simply not true. People love to listen while they drive or travel or do household chores, so like video, podcasts are growing in popularity. This growth is creating opportunities for authors to be featured as guests. You can put yourself forward for an interview, or share one of your blogs with the show host and ask them if they’d like you on the show. Search the podcast library on your smartphone to see what shows are available. Some shows are short run only, others have hundreds of episodes. Once you’ve decided on some interview themes you could talk about, do let your friends and followers know that you’re interested in more speaking opportunities on podcasts. And do look out for our workshop on podcasting - coming soon.

Amazon is too competitive

It’s true that Amazon is a competitive marketplace. However, if you target a niche of readers for your book, you’ll be able to reach bestseller status more easily. If you’re a SilverWood author, talk to us about how to do this for your book.

One of our writers came up with the simple mantra, "A positive outlook gets positive results", and that is definitely true when marketing your book. Yes, there are lots of options to consider - but start with small steps and keep going. Your book sales will continue to flow, if you continue to be visible and attract new readers to hear about your book.

Exclusive to SilverWood authors: Get started on your book promotion with a Book Marketing Consultation.

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“If you’re thinking of self-publishing, I hope you don't go at it alone. With a team like SilverWood behind you, you have the support you need to publish the best work you believe in.”

J A Higgins